Section VIII. The Meaning of the Last Judgment
- One of the ways in which you can correct the magic-miracle confusion is to remember that you did not create yourself. You are apt to forget this when you become egocentric, and this puts you in a position where a belief in magic is virtually inevitable. Your will to create was given you by your Creator, Who was expressing the same Will in His creation. Since creative ability rests in the mind, everything you create is necessarily a matter of will. It also follows that whatever you alone make is real in your own sight, though not in the Mind of God. This basic distinction leads directly into the real meaning of the Last Judgment.
- The Last Judgment is one of the most threatening ideas in your thinking. This is because you do not understand it. Judgment is not an attribute of God. It was brought into being only after the separation, when it became one of the many learning devices to be built into the overall plan. Just as the separation occurred over millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period, and perhaps an even longer one. Its length can, however, be greatly shortened by miracles, the device for shortening but not abolishing time. If a sufficient number become truly miracle-minded, this shortening process can be virtually immeasurable. It is essential, however, that you free yourself from fear quickly, because you must emerge from the conflict if you are to bring peace to other minds.
- The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God. Actually, it will be undertaken by my brothers with my help. It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however, much you may think that punishment is deserved. Punishment is a concept totally opposed to right-mindedness, and the aim of the Last Judgment is to restore right-mindedness to you. The Last Judgment might be called a process of right evaluation. It simply means that everyone will finally come to understand what is worthy and what is not. After this, the ability to choose can be directed rationally. Until this distinction is made, however, the vacillations between free and imprisoned will cannot but continue.
- The first step toward freedom involves a sorting out of the false from the true. This is a process of separation in the constructive sense and reflects the true meaning of the Apocalypse. Everyone will ultimately look upon his own creations and choose to preserve only what is good, just as God Himself looked upon what He had created and knew that it was good. At this point, the mind can begin to look with love on its own creations because of their worthiness. At the same time, the mind will inevitably disown its miscreations which, without belief, will no longer exist.
- The term, “Last Judgment” is frightening not only because it has been projected onto God, but also because of the association of “last” with death. This is an outstanding example of upside-down perception. If the meaning of the Last Judgment is objectively examined, it is quite apparent that it is really the doorway to life. No one who lives in fear is really alive. Your own last judgment cannot be directed toward yourself because you are not your own creation. You can, however, apply it meaningfully and at any time to everything you have made, and retain in your memory only what is creative and good. This is what your right-mindedness cannot but dictate. The purpose of time is solely to “give you time” to achieve this judgment. It is your own perfect judgment of your own perfect creations. When everything you retain is loveable, there is no reason for fear to remain with you. This is your part in the Atonement.
When we choose to fear God instead of love God, we choose to believe a lie. Instead of enjoying the beautiful communion we had with our Father, we began to see Him as having a secret agenda – plotting against us, denying us goodies and deriving pleasure in our suffering, sacrifice, and shame. When we hold false ideas about God, we can hardly hope to do much better! Instead of loving and caring for Creation, we dreamt up ways to prey upon it, to destroy, to slaughter. We began to crave the taste of meat and slaked our thirst on blood. Instead of the oneness and unity that rest upon the Principle of Love, we entered a state of competition, self-centeredness, and conflict. We made a world of us against them and them against us, and our belief in our own fictional kingdom made it real to us.
Until we understand the unreality of this world, we keep the world spinning, brothers, whether we choose to be good, bad, or indifferent citizens of this kingdom. Pay your tithes, go to your religious institutions, send your kids to the best universities, and be faithful spouses – the only reward you will get for your good behavior in the world will be limited to how the world chooses to reward you. It will not be God rewarding you for your good manners, your wise decisions, and moral behavior. The same goes for snubbing the church, squandering your money, letting your kids fend for themselves, and being good-time Sams and free-wheeling Sallies – the outcome of your choices and your actions will be limited to this world – get away with it or end up lonely and in despair, God has nothing to do with it. This kingdom is not His Kingdom. It is not His Will, and as real as it seems to us, it is not real by any stretch of the imagination outside the realm of the time space illusion.
Most interpretations of the Last Judgment are based upon the time space illusion. We behold a fearful concept of God as the Great Avenger rather than as the Loving Father. The time space illusion reinforces our trust in the flesh and blood kingdom and the other miscreations of separation. When we understand the unreality of this kingdom, when our minds are awakened to the truth of the matter, we will understand the real meaning of the Last Judgment and realize that this is a most joyous event in which to look forward to, to pray for instead of against. When we hear people say that they hope they do not miss the Rapture or pray that they are not around for the Last Judgment, they are indicating their fear of God, a sad lack of concern for others, and a most superficial understanding of the Lord’s Prayer. For when we pray God’s Will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are praying for the Last Judgment.
Jesus tells us in paragraph two that we are afraid of the Last Judgment because we simply do not understand it. We have assumed that God judges against us, that it is one event in time, and that it is a terrifying, bloody event while God and the armies of darkness go to war.
First of all, as miracles workers, it is essential that we accept the mastery of love in our thoughts and are completely freed from fear of God and Creation. When we are released from fear and come to know God and Creation as loving, forgiving, corrective, gentle, and kind there is no more conflict in our mind, and we can share this peace of mind with others. The Last Judgment becomes not a projection of punishment which is totally alien to our Father, but a means to bring healing and to restore sanity to His Son. The Last Judgment simply means that each one of us –will come to know what is true and what has no truth, what is right and what is wrong, what has value and what has none. Until the Last Judgment we vacillate between truth and untruth – sometimes we recognize the reality of God and the unreality of the world in space and time, and other times we fall back into the trance.
Eventually, each of us experience the Last Judgment when we make our final choice for God’s Will– we have judged all else to be untrue – we are no longer the least bit interested in the fiction – it is unworthy, boring, trite, and meaningless. This is not something God does; this is our final judgment. We come to our last judgment by careful evaluation, taking note, awakening to the concept of love, testing the practice of miracle-mindedness, and determining the veracity and the validity of the acceptance of Christ’s teaching. There is no concern that we will choose another way because truth is truth. It either holds up or it does not. Freed from the trance and a desire for that which is not unified, God’s Will, which is Loving Will, has ultimate appeal to the sane and enlightened mind.
Jesus calls the Last Judgment the final healing. There is no punishment involved. Punishment is not correction, and there is no place for it in God’s Will. The Last Judgment is a process of choosing what is right and good and worthy and letting go of all that is not right and good and worthy. When that happens, we are restored to Brotherhood of Christ. God’s Will comes. God’s Will is done.
As the truth about God’s Kingdom becomes more apparent, the institutions which thrive on darkness and ignorance will seem to become more threatening and dangerous. This process of separating fiction from truth will be like “pulling the lid off,” it will disclose and expose. Deeds done in darkness will come to the light. We see this today as the Sons of God are no longer willing to practice institutionalized rape and disregard for the wellbeing and safety of others. While the transparency of being one with God in spirit and in truth will eventually be the choice for everyone, initially coming to the light can be a scary process for those still asleep in darkness and fascinated by that which is not love.
The Last Judgment comes to each one of us as our minds look upon our thoughts and choose only that which comes from love and disown all else. Rejoice no matter how sinful and secret is our shame, for we do not want it anymore. We disown it and with no more belief, it has no form and can do no damage. God did not make our sin and shame and therefore it has no life, no value, no worth. Our sin and our shame hold no interest to God. When the prodigal son came home – his father did not want to know what he did when he was away kicking up his heels and squandering his inheritance. Overjoyed to have him home; the father had no interest in judging, condemning, or punishing his beloved son. The son was the one who judged his wayward ways and found them worthless. It was the son’s judgment on the state of his being that motivated him to return.
The purpose of time is to give us time to achieve this final judgment. When our minds are full of love and only love, there is no room for fear and conflict. Our minds are one with Christ Who has never left God’s Kingdom except to pave the way for our return. Our minds free of malice and fear and thoughts of death and destruction return to their devotion – to that which is sublime, creative, truly alive, and everlasting.
When we come to the Last Judgment we use our minds to evaluate each thought, each word, each deed. We separate that which is lovely and good from that which is not. We do not judge ourselves for we did not make ourselves nor do we belong to ourselves. We judge what to retain and what to let go. There is no vengeance. There is no high emotion and passion. We have no need to spew and spit, to sputter and mutter, to weep or gnash our teeth. It is a sorting out of truth from fiction. We keep what God created and what aligns with His Will and we let everything that does not dry up and disappear.
Jesus tells us that the Last Judgment is the doorway to life! God has no need to judge us, brothers. He knows who we are, and He knows to Whom we belong. At the Last Judgment we are convinced that His Will is our will. We no longer choose to fear God because we love Him. We want nothing but Him, Who is creative and good. We want wholeness, oneness, and the peace, joy, and love that can only be found in Sonship with Him, in Brotherhood with Christ, in oneness with Creation. The Last Judgment is our final take on the miscreations we have made. It is our part in the Atonement process. It is our final pronouncement of the fragmented, fear-based, alternative to reality that hooked our minds with irreverence, unholiness, and lies. We say with everlasting certainty and all-encompassing love – “No More” to miscreations, and “Yes, Always and Forever” to the Divine. Individually and collectively, let us pray for the Last Judgment for it is our freedom from darkness and death and the way to everlasting truth and life!
A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2: VIII The meaning of the last judgment. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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