Accepting atonement for yourself alone?

Wednesday, Oct 25, 2023 692 words 3 mins 4 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

Jesus says in the course several times that we have a "sole responsibility". This responsibility is to accept the atonement. And this is usually attached to "for ourselves."

I think this has become one of the most selfishly misinterpreted teachings.

When Jesus mentions this, he ALSO mentions afterwards that once you have accepted atonement, you will now GIVE IT TO OTHERS. Which is not a selfish act. Nor is it exclusive. Nor does it mean you sitting there in isolation having accepted atonement CUT OFF from others, or unable to share it, or unwilling to heal others.

I also think that when he speaks of it being our sole responsibility, he is saying that because we have FREE WILL. Therefore, as the owner of the free will, I have to personally WILL to accept the atonement, and no-one can do this for me. So the responsibility lies SOLELY with me. I have to be willing. That's why it is the ONLY responsibility that lands squarely and solely on MY shoulders and not others. Because I have to exercise my free will. As Jesus says, "no one comes to the atonement except willingly."

Similarly, we have to realize that you cannot RECEIVE atonement WITHOUT giving it, because "atonement is a lesson in sharing." It means that you are aligning yourself with the golden rule and are now identify with your brothers and sharing with them. That in turn means that their interests are now shared with yours and it is your DUTY to fulfill the great crusade to HELP THEM AND HEAL THEM.

"The attraction of light must draw you willingly, and willingness is signified by GIVING."

I think Jesus is pretty clear that he never intended these statements about "sole responsibility" to be interpreted in such a selfish manner, where people THINK it means "I just accept it for myself in isolation and to hell with everyone else." The reason we accept it is SO THAT we become PART OF the atonement (plan) and now have a PROFESSION of atonement, which we do all the time, which involves GIVING TO OTHERS. Solely accept the atonement for yourself SO THAT you can share it!

Jesus's intention was NEVER to suggest that people are to accept atonement for themselves and then HOARD IT and NOT SHARE IT and NOT HELP ANYONE ELSE. In fact, we can interpret it to mean.... I accept atonement for myself because it is my sole responsibility to put myself into a position WHERE I can help others through a service of miracles!

"The sole responsibility of God's teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition."

"The unforgiven HAVE no mercy to bestow upon another. That is why your sole responsibility MUST be to take forgiveness for yourself."

"If the sole responsibility of the miracle-worker is to accept the ATONEMENT, and I assure you that it is, then the responsibility for what is atoned FOR CANNOT be yours."

"The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept Atonement himself. This means that he knows that mind is the only creative level, and that its errors ARE healed by the Atonement. Once he accepts this, HIS mind can only heal. By denying his mind any destructive potential, and reinstating its purely constructive powers, he has placed himself in a position where he can undo the level confusion of others. The message which he then gives to others is the truth that THEIR MINDS are really similarly constructive, and that their own miscreations cannot hurt them."

"The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything TO you. (That is, to restore the awareness. Later clarification.) You had everything when you were created, just as everyone did." ... "Having been restored to your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. You now share MY inability to tolerate the lack of love in yourself and in everyone else, and MUST join the GREAT CRUSADE to correct it. The slogan for this Crusade is "Listen, Learn, and DO."

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