In apprehending ACIM material, we can interpret the emphasis as the elimination of self or even annihilationism. I don’t believe the telos of ACIM is to eliminate the self but to integrate it with the divine with no input from the illusory ego. We cannot conflate the abandonment of illusions created by the ego with abandoning the self. God’s creations and sons serve the purpose of communing with the Lord and participating in a reciprocal, personal love relationship.
Christianity primarily addresses non-dualism in teleology and ontology through its doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the concept of theosis, or deification.
Non-Dualism and the Trinity
The Holy Trinity: In Christian theology, the Holy Trinity refers to the understanding of God as three persons in one divine essence: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. This concept presents non-dualism, as it posits that the three persons are distinct yet indivisible, existing in perfect unity and oneness. This triune understanding of God reflects a unique form of non-dualism in which the divine essence remains one, while the persons maintain their individuality. However, it should be noted that the Christian understanding of non-dualism differs significantly from that of other spiritual traditions, such as Advaita Vedanta, which posits that ultimate reality is an undifferentiated, impersonal unity.
Non-Dualism and Theosis (Deification)
Theosis (Deification): Another aspect of Christian theology that addresses non-dualism is the concept of theosis or deification. Theosis refers to the process by which a believer becomes more like God in their nature and essence through divine grace, ultimately taking part in the divine life. The Eastern Orthodox Church, in particular, emphasizes this doctrine, drawing on biblical passages such as 2 Peter 1:4, which states that believers “may become partakers of the divine nature.” Theosis does not imply that humans become God or lose their individuality, but suggests a union with God that transcends the dualism of creator and creation.
Despite these elements of non-dualism within Christian theology, it is essential to note that the tradition is monotheistic, asserting the existence of one God, who is separate and distinct from creation. In this sense, Christian theology diverges from non-dualistic traditions that posit an ultimate, undifferentiated reality in which all distinctions, including those between the individual self and the divine, are ultimately transcended.