What is the atonement?



Atonement is defined in the dictionary as “satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.” It’s seen in our history, culture, and religions as a way to escape a big punishment by performing some act, by punishing ourselves. This can seem abstract, and I never really understood fully the implications of this “atonement through suffering” until I viewed an example of atonement in Game of Thrones. 

The example I talk about in the video helped me understand how atonement can mean terrible suffering and punishment. It means being torn down in vicious ways to escape eternal damnation.

It showed me how radical A Course in Miracles is in its redefinition of Atonement as “undoing.” It is a releasing of all our false ideas and beliefs. It does not require suffering, and is achieved through miracles—which are a shift in our perception, a change in our mind. It’s a no-strings-attached way to experience freedom.

The Atonement can be seen as our path of awakening. Often awakening means sacrificing, losing, being torn down. But in ACIM, personal development and awakening to who you really are doesn’t involve suffering. We often believe it does, because we believe it is difficult to change our minds and to see differently.

But when we open up to the guidance of our Internal Teacher, the change of mind can become something done FOR us, not something done BY us.

Atonement as pain, as struggle, as punishment is done BY us. When we allow Atonement to be done FOR us, there’s no real struggle, there’s no forcing, manipulating, trying. We allow the change in mind to occur, and we see things differently. Atonement and awakening become something simple, gentle, and easy.

We drop old beliefs (which are the real punishment of ourselves) and step into new beliefs like: I am abundant. I am taken care of. I am loved. I am worthy. 

We no longer have to try to figure out what our purpose is, we just begin to live it through this change of mind. We see reactions of others and situations in our lives as Love or a call for Love. It becomes simple as we allow ourselves to be guided by our Internal Teacher.

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