When I told a friend about our third retreat coming up this October, in Glastonbury, Making Peace with Christ, she said, thank you, but she was quite at peace with Christ already. I would like to offer the assurance that our retreat will also serve anyone who wants to deepen what they already feel is a loving and peaceful relationship with Christ!! Some years ago, I also assumed I was o.k. with Jesus Christ, although perhaps not o.k. with my experience of going to Church, or human behavior I had witnessed “in the name of Christ”.
(see our website, www.interfaithvision.org for details of this retreat)
In 2002, I discovered a book called A Course in Miracles. It was required reading at the time I was training to become an Interfaith Minister, see my website, www.annieblampied.co.uk. I realized the teaching in this book had some gifts for me, so I decided to continue working with it long after the Interfaith Seminary training was over.
In order to understand the teaching more deeply, I ran a study group on A Course in Miracles. This is a book, divided into three parts dedicated to awakening to Truth, is summarized in the following way:~
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
There was an enthusiastic attendance in the two years I ran this group. One of the early meetings became an open space where the opportunity arose for people to voice their ambivalence, resistance, and difficulties with A Course in Miracles.
One issue was gender, the use of the words Father, Son, Brother, without including Mother, Daughter, Sister. (We will address that question another time.)
Another issue was the resistance and plain dislike of the idea that Jesus could be the source of the wisdom of this book. This was connected to all kinds of issues that people had with Jesus/Christ, nothing really to do with the book, but more to do with their own stories and shaping life experience.
As people talked and freely aired their opinions and feelings, I started thumbing through the book. Surely there would be some helpful response hidden there! I found it in the Clarification of Terms, in the back of the book. Here was a page about Jesus-Christ.
“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…….
Walking with him is just as natural as walking with a brother whom you knew since you were born, for such indeed is he. Some bitter idols have been made of him who would be only brother to the world. Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you……”
What arrested my attention in the words I have quoted above was the idea of forgiving Jesus-Christ. It reminds me of the friend who told me she was quite at peace with Christ. Why would I need to forgive Christ?
Anyway, I decided to follow the suggestion. Inwardly, I asked to be shown how to forgive Christ-Jesus my illusions…. And realized how I had masked the real experience of Christ’s Presence and Love, through all the hundreds of years of images and ideas and stories, that I had unconsciously absorbed about Christ and that had gotten laid on top of what He Is, and what We Are! When all that fell away, as it did, when I forgave him my illusions…..all that remained was a powerful experience of Love’s Presence, and a dissolving into Love.
In the Clarification of Terms the passage goes on to ask:-
“Is he God’s only Helper? No, indeed. For Christ takes many forms with different names until their oneness can be recognized”
In our work with Interfaith Vision, we strive to realize this ~ the Oneness behind all appearances, and all approaches to Truth. There is nothing we can do to change eternal Love, but we can decide to drop our defences and thus make peace within ourselves, and find that love waiting for us all along.
Thank you for reading this blog, with love and blessings, Annie Blampied