The title for chapter 6 is The Lessons of Love. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Message of the Crucifixion, The Alternative to Projection, The Relinquishment of Attack, The Only Answer, and The Lessons of the Holy Spirit.
This will be a challenging chapter to read for those of you raised in traditional Christian thought as I was. We have been taught to understand the crucifixion as Jesus being punished and becoming a sacrifice for our sins. In this book, Jesus states that, “The crucifixion was not a form of punishment. Those who interpreted it as this were understanding it from a place of fear.” Jesus teaches that the crucifixion was a teaching moment for us to realize what happens when we project our anger onto another person by assaulting them. It was the result of two clearly opposed thought systems, the ego and the Son of God. The ego represented those who hated what Jesus was doing and teaching and felt threatened by him so attacked him. The Son of God represented Jesus who only walked in love, doing nothing wrong and when attacked, did not fight back. “The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are. If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. The Apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the “wrath of God’ as His retaliatory weapon. Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their sense of guilt had made them angry. These are some of the examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament although its gospel is really, only the message of love. If the Apostles had not felt guilty, they could never have quoted me as saying, I come not to bring peace but a sword. This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught.”
All of us get into the habit of projection and do not always realize when or why we are doing this. To project is to take the parts of yourself that you do not like and project them onto someone else so you no longer feel or own them. While it may appear to be an attack on the other person, it is actually an attack on yourself. Your inability to fully love every part of who you are. This is a game the ego loves to play. It perpetuates the belief that you are separated from self and others. As long as you continue to believe that you are separated from God, you will fear retaliation and abandonment and believe in attack and rejection. Since this is what you perceive, it is what you will teach, learn and identify yourself with. ACIM teaches that “Everyone identifies himself with his thought system, and every thought system centers on what you believe you are. The way out of two opposing thought systems is to clearly choose one and relinquish the other. This will replace conflict with peace in your mind. The Holy Spirit sorts out the true from the false in your mind, and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it (take every thought captive) in the light of what God put there. Whatever is in accord with this light, He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom in you. What is partly in accord with it He accepts and purifies. But what is out of accord entirely He rejects by judging against. This is how He keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified. Remember however, that what the Holy Spirit rejects, the ego accepts. This is because they are in fundamental disagreement about everything, being in fundamental disagreement about what you are.” The Holy Spirit sees you as wholly perfect and lovable so there is no need to project anything. Instead, the Holy Spirit takes the belief that this is who you are, and extends that out to others by sharing your love and nonjudgmental attitude with people and seeing all people as equal and one with each other and with creator God. “You are a child of God, a priceless part of His Kingdom, which He created as part of Him. Nothing else exists and only this is real”