Can you help me understand Christ-control versus Christ-guidance?

Q. I’ve been reading in the Urtext about  Christ-control and Christ-guidance. They sound important, but I’m not quite sure what the difference is. Can you help me understand them?

A. You’re right that these concepts are important. They are returned to again and again in the early parts of the Course dictation. It’s a shame that they were mostly edited out of the final version of the Course.

The two concepts are actually pretty simple. Christ-guidance is only for the thought level and leads to interior experience, like the experience of revelation (the mystical experience of oneness with God). The reason it is “guidance” rather than “control” is that it leaves room for our freedom of choice. As the Urtext says, “A guide does not control, by definition, but he does direct, leaving the following up to you.” So, Christ guides us towards the right thoughts, points us to the right places to go mentally, and then we have to exercise our own free will and follow His lead.

In contrast, Christ-control is only for the behavioral level. Very simply, if we truly allow Christ to guide our thoughts, then He will actually control our behavior. We will find impulses to give miracles to others arising and flowing through us, so naturally and spontaneously that they will be (as an early miracle principle says) “involuntary.” Rather than having to push past our resistance to giving, we’ll find that giving will be “as simple and as natural…as breathing to the body” (T-21.V.3:4). Rather than having to engineer blessings to others, we will simply watch it all happen.

It’s true that “control” has a strong connotation than “guidance,” and that is intentional. But think about it this way: We don’t resent the fact that our breathing is involuntary or that our heartbeat is involuntary. I for one am rather glad that those functions are controlled for me. And so we can probably be thankful that the crucial function of expressing love to others will also be controlled for us, once we place our thoughts under His guidance.

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