The Turning Point
This passage from A Course in Miracles summarizes how individuals, societies, and planets fundamentally change:
The acceptance of the Atonement by everyone is only a matter of time. This may appear to contradict free will because of the inevitability of the final decision, but this is not so. You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate. An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute. But the outcome is as certain as God. Spiritual vision literally cannot see error, and merely looks for Atonement. —A Course in Miracles
“The acceptance of the Atonement by everyone is only a matter of time.” In other words, everyone will be “saved.” That is, everyone will find himself. Everyone will be reunited with God, love, and truth. The atonement is a unification process as well as the outcome of this unification process. The outcome or result of this process is the reunification of all of God’s creation in love. To accept the atonement means to relinquish one’s selfish orientation that seeks to benefit only one’s individual, separate self. To accept the atonement means to give up one’s egotistical mindset that seeks to split off parts of God and give love and approval only to special individuals.
The Course says that everyone will eventually accept the atonement, or accept all-pervading love. This is true because everyone is a part of God and no one can exist apart from God. God is love, and we, being of God, are essentially love also. When we try to limit love, we feel pain. Being of God, our will is the will of God. When we deny this, and attempt to will against God, we feel extreme discomfort. However, this attempt to will against God is powerless to create any real effects. We are always safe because we are always in God and cannot really will against God, cannot really “sin.” We can make errors in thinking, but all of these errors disappear the moment we overlook or forgive them.
It takes enormous effort to try to will against our own will, meaning, against God’s will. Why do we attempt this? We have become afraid of love and afraid of truth. We believe that truth will attack us or that God will punish us. However, eventually we find that our imprisoned wills (our bonds made by selfishness) cause us more pain than the terror and expected pain of facing God, love, and truth. It is at this place that we reach a turning point. In the Bible, this place is called repentance. To repent basically means to turn around or to change your mind. In the Bible, prophets continually encouraged individuals and societies to repent. However, if the individual or society had not reached their specific turning point (the point at which the pain caused by selfishness is greater than the fear of God, love, and truth), then the prophet’s words are not heard, and they fall on deaf ears.
If an individual, society, or planet is not ready to turn around, or repent, then there is little use in telling them to change. However, when certain conditions occur, repentance becomes inevitable. The prophets of the Bible referred often to events at the end of the current age of the earth. They said that the events of that time would be unprecedented. When people think about the end of the world, they often are filled with fear. However, it may be that the events associated with the end of the world seem fearful because they are a change from our ordinary, expected life. It may be that extreme or painful situations are needed in order to get people to wake up and to reach a turning point in their lives. These extreme situations should not be seen as a punishment but as an opportunity to repent and to see things in a new way. God does not want you to suffer. God wants you to have joy. In fact, these extreme situations were created by us together with God because we know that they will be for our benefit.
“This [turning point] ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute. But the outcome is as certain as God. Spiritual vision literally cannot see error, and merely looks for Atonement.”
Look past error wherever you found it before. Look past pain, which is temporary and therefore not real. Look toward your salvation, which is inevitable. Look forward to all-pervading love, which is your birthright and identity. Look forward to peace and truth, which you will certainly have.