Jesus. Christ. Systems Thinker…

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Christ / Course Ideas

Jesus is, among other things, a systems thinker.  Throughout A Course in Miracles he reminds us that one of his goals is to help us change our thought system, an approach to healing that he extends beautifully in A Course of Love wherein he invites us to consider that we have arrived, and left the ego behind, but may still be prone to move about in old patterns.  He asks us to consider abandoning those patterns, that we might join together in Christ to foster the patterns of the new.

It has been really helpful to me to consider that undesirable conditions of my inner life- phenomena like sensations of doubt, lack, limitation or fear- are simply patterns of a system, and not necessarily evidence of who I actually am.  This really helps to take the “charge” out of them, and once we eliminate the identification with the patterns, they become so much freer and fluid.  Maybe, (just maybe), wholly replaceable…

Thought systems are incredibly powerful, notwithstanding the fact we so seldom even realize we have one.  (We just wake up one day and start thinking, right!?)  They are the foundation of worlds and they shape our entire experience.  Jesus even says in A Course in Miracles that no one can organize his life without one (T-6, Introduction.2:3).  They are like perfectly smooth operating systems that run flawlessly in the background of our lives.  Everything we know and experience runs through the system, a system to which we generally pay no heed.

Speaking of the power of these systems, Jesus says, “It is a mistake to believe that a thought system based on lies is weak.  Nothing made by a child of God is without power.  It is essential to realize this, because otherwise you will be unable to escape from the prison you have made.” (T-3, VII.1:6-8)  Later, he says, “Everything you perceive is a witness to the thought system you want to be true.” (T-11, V.18:3)

I think it is really interesting to consider that the ego’s thought system and the thought system we share with God are two instances of a common animal.  Aside from the fact that one is totally insane and the other is the key to experiencing the Truth, they are alike in every respect.  They truly are systems.  The way they each work to give rise to a world, to meaning and purpose, and to an experience of identity is the same.  The foundations from which they arise, however, and the subsequent conclusions to which they lead, are absolutely and diametrically opposed.  Good to keep that in mind.

In A Course in Miracles Jesus told us we had gone so far as to identify with the thought system of the ego.  This brings up a key point to keep in mind: we, ourselves, are not thought systems…  We are not necessarily even thinkers.  We are Love, being.  Identifying with a thought system is like identifying with any system, like a political system.  We make this mistake all the time, but we are clearly not political systems, nor are we even political animals exclusively.  We need a system to work within, but we are not the system itself.

In A Course of Love, having helped us unplug from the ego’s thought system, Jesus invites us to adopt the thought system of unity, the system we share with God.  He knows, however, this is easier said than done.  We’re still running an old operating system, and even though we now realize it isn’t who we are, we have no idea what to replace it with.  We can’t even imagine the impacts of running the new system, because we literally don’t have the tools with which to experience it, and the compromise from which Jesus wishes to save us is that of striving to do marginally better with an old platform…

He advises us to recognize the old patterns, and to treat them in a new way.  When we find ourselves, for instance, in the pattern of learning- e.g. surrounded by the conditions of learning such as doubt, fear, struggle, want, or lack- he suggests we not interpret the pattern as we would have in the past.  He suggests we not view these as implying there is anything for us to learn; instead, he suggests we simply dismiss them.  Stop running the old system, and keep the space open for the new to be revealed…

Jesus is a systems thinker, yes, but he is also the Christ.  Good to keep that in mind.  In A Course of Love, he gives the mind a sufficiently debilitating mantra- “dedicate all thought to union”- and then invites the heart forward to lead the way.  Our heart, you see, has no need of these thought systems.  Our heart has never left its home in unity.  Our heart will draw us into an experience of unity, and a discovery of the Christ within.  In order to live with the new operating system, our mind simply needs to be freed of old patterns and willing to join the heart in this new condition.  Jesus knows as Christ, that our identity is with him in Christ, and that thought systems are secondary to identity.  They are but channels through which ideas flow- the rules by which ideas behave- and not the Source of ideas themselves.

Though Jesus is a systems thinker, he is also the Christ.  He is not bound by thought systems.  And neither are we…

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Use It or Lose It… | Embracing Forever

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