Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Truth Shall Set You Free

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said: "If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." (Jn 8:32)

And in the Course we have:
Since you cannot not teach, your salvation lies in teaching the exact opposite of everything the ego believes. This is how you will learn the truth that will set you free, and will keep you free as others learn it of you. The only way to have peace is to teach peace. By teaching peace you must learn it yourself, because you cannot teach what you still dissociate. Only thus can you win back the knowledge that you threw away. An idea that you share you must have. It awakens in your mind through the conviction of teaching it. Everything you teach you are learning. Teach only love, and learn that love is yours and you are love.
" (ACIM:T-6.3.4)

There are numerous other references to this statement in the Course. In both of these traditions we can see the same Jesus - the statement in John is totally consistent with the clarification he offers in the Course, and in the meantime we should carefully note how this statement has been badly distorted in the teaching of the world.

For once we manage--as Christianity did--to pull Jesus into the world and reinterpret his teaching as a moralistic teaching within a dualistic framework of good and evil, then 'truth' promptly becomes misunderstood in the ego framework as being 'truthful,' i.e. to honor 'how it really happened," when instead the teaching of love is that nothing really did happen, which is the Atonement.

So the supposed virtue of truthfulness in the ego's world means allegiance the truths that set us free (supposedly), are the accusations of ourselves (confession!) or of our brothers (telling the 'truth,' including such 'virtues' as whistleblowing, etc.), in flagrant denial of the fact that the whole thing is a lie. The freedom that is promised in these virtuous actions, is along the lines of 'getting it off your chest,' and similar notions, which feeds into the ego's black-jack system where guilt is OK, as long as we can pass it on to someone else, and we are oblivious to the fact that this keeps the guilt alive, whereas forgiveness truly sets us free. As the Course makes very clear, not only do these kinds of truths not set us free, they are the chains of accusation with which we keep our brothers and ourselves in bondage, be reinforcing the separation. So the self-serving respect for truth on a worldly level is all about making the world and the separation real and thus about making a liar out of Jesus.

The correction he offers in the Course is to make it clear that if we teach love and forgiveness, we must first be accepting it in our own hearts, and thus we learn forgiveness and love by teaching it, and this is the teaching of truth Jesus was and is passing on to us, and asks us to take into our lives and the world. And it has nothing to do with teaching the Course, the Gospel, or any other formal teaching, for it is a teaching that goes beyond words entirely, and it's truth is in the experience of it. That is living in the truth that shall set us free.

There are many passages in the Course which show us how the ego's judgment serves merely to reinforce the bonds of guilt on our brothers and ourselves, and keep us in chains forever. And many passages show us the way out through forgiveness and Jesus' teaching of love, such as the following section from "The Holy Instant":
We said before that the ego attempts to maintain and increase guilt, but in such a way that you do not recognize what it would do to you. For it is the ego's fundamental doctrine that what you do to others you have escaped. The ego wishes no one well. Yet its survival depends on your belief that you are exempt from its evil intentions. It counsels, therefore, that if you are host to it, it will enable you to direct its anger outward, thus protecting you. And thus it embarks on an endless, unrewarding chain of special relationships, forged out of anger and dedicated to but one insane belief; that the more anger you invest outside yourself, the safer you become.
It is this chain that binds the Son of God to guilt, and it is this chain the Holy Spirit would remove from his holy mind. For the chain of savagery belongs not around the chosen host of God, who cannot make himself host to the ego. In the name of his release, and in the Name of Him Who would release him, let us look more closely at the relationships the ego contrives, and let the Holy Spirit judge them truly. For it is certain that if you will look at them, you will offer them gladly to Him. What He can make of them you do not know, but you will become willing to find out, if you are willing first to perceive what you have made of them.

Copyright, © 2007 Rogier F. van Vlissingen. All rights reserved.
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