Course Meets World Commentary Greg Mackie

On this page, I will post short commentaries relating A Course in Miracles to a topic "in the news." Here's how it works: I will present material drawn from the world's media—a newspaper article, a blog, an Internet discussion, etc. (with a link to the original source). Then, I will discuss the relationship I see between it and A Course in Miracles. For example, I might show how it echoes things said in the Course, or contrast what it says with the Course's view of the same topic. The goal is to bring a Course perspective to topics being discussed in the larger world.

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  • The Meaning of Repentance Renowned Jesus scholar Marcus Borg has recently written a book entitled Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary. In this fascinating book, Borg presents a comprehensive portrait of the Jesus of history, based on a lifetime of research. Among the many new insights I've gotten from this book is a fresh view of what Jesus meant by "repentance."
  • Jesus Loves Osama The Central Baptist Church in Sydney, Australia has erected a sign saying, "Jesus Loves Osama" —referring, of course, to the infamous leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, Osama bin Laden. At the bottom of the sign, in smaller letters, is the gospel quotation from Jesus on which the sign is based: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44).
  • The Resurrection of Sigmund Freud The author of A Course in Miracles had a high regard for Sigmund Freud. He discussed Freud at length with the Course's scribes (both of whom were Freudian psychologists) in material that didn't make it into the published Course. The Course itself shares Freud's psychodynamic approach to the mind: an approach that sees the human psyche as a turbulent arena of conflicting drives, most of which are buried in the unconscious through various defense mechanisms. The Course's thought system is starkly different from Freud's in many respects—for instance, unlike Freud, the Course claims that the conflicts of the mind can be escaped through awakening to God—yet the similarities with Freud's basic approach are apparent.
  • Happiness Through Mind Training A recent article by Anthony Barnes in the Independent (UK) describes Matthieu Ricard—a Buddhist monk who is the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama—as "the world's happiest man." The good news for all of us is that, in Ricard's view, happiness is not simply the result of good fortune or good genes. Rather, it is a "skill" all of us can learn, if we will just put time and effort into training our minds.
  • A new level of human consciousness One of the most beautiful aspects of A Course in Miracles for me is its re-interpretation of Jesus' crucifixion. Traditionally, the crucifixion has been seen as Jesus' blood sacrifice for our sins, but in the Course, it is an "extreme example" (T-6.I.2:1) of limitless love. In the Course's view, Jesus voluntarily went through the crucifixion to demonstrate that we can love and forgive even when experiencing "the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego" (T-6.I.9:1). He realized that it is impossible to kill the eternal life that belongs to all of us as Sons of God; therefore, those who attempted to kill him (and those who seemed to betray and abandon him, like Judas and the other disciples) deserved not anger and condemnation, but only love. This is the message of the crucifixion: "Teach only love, for that is what you are" (T-6.I.13:2).
  • Just Say No to Aging — the Course's Way Aging seems to be inexorable, a natural and inevitable process of physical decline that we are powerless to prevent. But is this really so? A recent article by Wray Herbert in Newsweek — entitled "Just Say No to Aging?" — suggests that we aren't as powerless as we think, for our mindset has a significant effect on how we age. This lends support to the all-encompassing theory of A Course in Miracles, which claims that all physical conditions, including the very existence of the body itself, are determined entirely by the mind. In the Course's view, we really could just say no to aging and bodily distress of any kind, if we learn to use the body in a whole new way.
  • Vote for Christ! The big event in the news right now is the upcoming American election. Needless to say, A Course in Miracles doesn't give us any advice about which candidates to choose. However, interestingly enough, the original typescript of the Course has a passage that refers to elections and voting machines. Given that the election is on everyone's mind right now, I thought it would be interesting to look at this passage to see what kind of election it is talking about and which candidate in that election it wants us to vote for.

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