Salvation is awakening from the dream of separation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the recognition that we share an interest in peace and happiness with all our brothers and sisters, and that this shared interest reflects the truth that there is only one will in Creation.
Thus, salvation is the process by which our seemingly separate will is brought into alignment with God’s Will. Salvation is natural and easy – there is literally nothing to do.
Salvation, as we understand and practice it as students of A Course in Miracles, does deviate from more traditional Christian theology and application. In ACIM, salvation is the process of undoing our shared belief in separation, and all the attendant guilt and fear which are separation’s effects. This ultimately allows us to remember our inherent Oneness with God and all Creation.
The focus is on our personal responsibility for transformation – this means that we are responsible for not projecting, for practicing forgiveness – which is right-inded seeing, and for listening to the Holy Spirit as we correct our confused and mistaken beliefs about self, other and, especially, God.
Traditional Christianity (broadly defined) emphasizes faith in Jesus Christ as the primary means of attaining salvation and redemption from sin. A Course in Miracles teaches that salvation is not conditional but is accessible and inevitable because of what we are in truth. There is no sin – there is only error, which can always be corrected.
Atonement – which is closely related to salvation – is about correcting errors at the level of mind, not enacting a rigorous penance for sins committed by bodies in the world.
Our resistance and opposition to this understanding and practice of atonement can be intense, and the apparent blocks created by our opposition can seem imposing indeed. Therefore, salvation is learned in time – it is perceived first as an experience of liberation from the body in a world and then as a mind that opens to accept its fullness as an extension of God in Creation.
This shift in perception, also known as a miracle, helps us to see the world and ourselves through the eyes of Love and forgiveness – in other words, we see right-mindedly.
This takes both understanding and application. We learn that we are separate and that there is another way. Then we learn that by serving our brothers and sisters, we bring that way forth for all life. And finally, we rest in the quiet joy and peace of knowing that we need to do nothing other than accept God’s Will, which is our will, and from which we cannot be separate in any way.
Therefore, in A Course in Miracles, salvation is joyful and the path towards it a happy one. It is the recognition of our nature as an extension of God and Love. Salvation is the process by which we awaken to this truth, releasing forever ego-based illusions of separation and fear.
Because salvation is fundamentally relational – we need one another in non-trivial ways – it offers an alternative understanding of Christian practice. The Course, because it emphasizes personal responsibility, radical forgiveness, and willingness to remember our oneness with God, naturally inspires an inclusive and compassionate spiritual practice.
It is a practical alternative to more dogmatic and ritual-based practices of Christianity. No suggestion is made that it is superior! It may simply be more helpful for folks, depending on their perception of their needs. Salvation is, in the end, a deeply personal process.