Jesus is a little more gentle in the Course, when he says:
How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? 2 Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? 3 How soon will you be ready to come home? 4 Perhaps today? 5 There is no sin. 6 Creation is unchanged. 7 Would you still hold return to Heaven back? 8 How long, O holy Son of God, how long? (ACIM:W-pII.4.5)Or, to put it differently, the problem is always the same, it is our belief in the tiny mad idea of separation, which keeps us in the self-destructive pattern of choosing the crucifixion (being buried alive in a box?!) over the resurrection, of choosing the body over the spirit, of choosing form over content. The wheel of Samsara, the ego's hamster mill is to keep making the same dumb choice over and over again, and expecting a different result. Jesus in the Course is perhaps the better choice for a therapist, because he does not just tell us to stop it, but he teaches us forgiveness, which brings us back to the mind, so that we can change our mind, and step off of that wheel of repetitious justification of our one bad decision. He also says: "Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world." (ACIM:T-21.in.1:7) He had the same focal concern in his original teachings, teaching us to change our mind, "metanoia" in Greek, meaning a change of mind, not just repentance in the moral sense as it was misunderstood later.
Much like every good lawyer knows that the best way to thwart a law is to satisfy the letter of it, and do what you want anyway. This is the ego's strategy - to kill the spirit by choosing the form. Jesus constantly reminds us not to, most famously in the New Testament in Mt 16:11 where he tells the apostles (again): "Don't you still get it that I was not speaking to you of breads?" I.e. he was speaking of the content, not the form, while they keep asking for the form, not the content. This IS the tiny, mad idea at work, this is to say I prefer the specific "something," over the everything of the Kingdom. Thus the ego asserts it is right, and ensures we will not be happy.
In passages like Mark 4:2, Jesus tells us that to those outside the Kingdom, it all comes in parables. In other words, as long as we're joining with him, looking at things from "above the battleground," from the mind level, or the Buddhic plane, we look with him at content not form, and thereby we can change our mind, which changes everything. Again in Mark, in 4:34 he makes it clear that when we join with him, he explains everything. This is the essence of the forgiveness process in the Course. Particularly if you read Mark in the original with Thomas beside it, you could start to hear these original teachings quite clearly.
There is more as you go along. There are numerous references to eyes that do not see, and ears that do not hear, as well as interactions where Jesus restores sight and hearing. Or, in Mark 5:36 Where Jesus "overheard" the meaning of the words, and clearly is not confused by the form. Evidently he "overhears," as much as he wants us to "overlooks" the ego, because he hears and sees through the form to the content, as would we if we join with him, which is the essence of the miracle as A Course in Miracles presents it: taking back the projection and thereby empowering ourselves to change our mind by now choosing Jesus or the Holy Spirit, our Right Mind. As long as we see the problem in form, in the world, changing our mind is impossible, which is the very purpose of the world. Only once we realize that our mind is projecting the problem (as long as we are choosing the ego), can we take the projection back, and do something about the cause of the problem, in our minds, by turning to a different teacher.
The point is, Jesus always was, and always is teaching from a non-dualistic perspective, about his Kingdom, not of this world (the world being dualistic), the Kingdom that our unseeing eyes don't see, and our un-hearing ears don't hear, because "the world is too much with us." (Wordsworth) And he was clearly always teaching about projection, as the teaching of the splinter and the beam should make clear. However, as the world inevitably distorted his teachings, particularly in Matthew, Luke and Acts, the teachings are increasingly diverted to justify the formation of religious communities, to bring people together in religious gatherings, and evolve into the church in the literal sense, instead of the promised joining with Jesus which is the message of the Eucharist, and so the church eventually becomes a worldly influence. What we do with his teachings is to pull them into the world more and more, to bring the solution to the problem instead of the problem to the solution, as the Course would say. So, if we bring him down into the world, to fix the problem where it can never be fixed, we are recruiting Jesus in the service of Caesar, which is exactly what happened.
In that context now, the Bible emerged as a very political document, which is dressed up by theological opinion and given the authority of being God's word, and the world seems to quickly forget how much the inconvenient aspects of Jesus' teachings were edited out in the selection process of canonical versus "apocryphal" books. This "Bible" becomes the justification of the founding of the Church, and Christianity as a religion, and it is taken very literally, to justify the most convenient reading of it. Subtle distortions and interpretations creep in, all the way to the "Heavenly bread" of the Lord's Prayer, which gradually evolves into our "daily bread," and Jesus becomes the spokesman for the Wonderbread account. Only if we start hearing the freshness of the original documents again, and avail ourselves of some of the literature which was excluded from it, can we restore some of the freshness of the original impression of Jesus, and can we start to hear him differently. A Course in Miracles is another path which brings us back to these original teachings of Jesus, by focusing us on content, not form. Its message of the Simplicity of Salvation ultimately revolves around the very basic insight that once you really see the ego for what it is, would you want it? When that stark choice becomes clear to us, through our incremental practice of forgiveness, what else is left to do but accept the Atonement?
In a variety of ways the Course provides a clear and explicit contrast to "the Bible" as a tool of Christian theology and dogma, there are also numerous allusions to the notion that the same stories could be read very differently, if we read them with the Holy Spirit. However the increasing attention to some of the apocryphal literature is advance the cause further, to a more independent reading of the Jesus literature.
The Thomas Gospel in particular, because of the total absence of a story line to dress up the various Jesus quotes, very clearly uses imagery to make a point, and clearly not to try to tell a story in the historical sense. In it we find Jesus pretty much as the teacher of nondualism, of choosing his Kingdom over this world of time and space.
In the synoptic gospels the sayings are framed in stories, which to the modern reader creates an impression of literal story telling, but it is doubtful if the reader in Jesus' time would actually hear them that way, when they are seen in the context of the rich mythological traditions of the Hellenistic world in which these stories unfolded. Moreover, even in the synoptics - as noted above, Jesus frequently admonishes us that it all comes to us in parables.
But in process of the birth of Christianity as a religion, there was an increasingly strong tendency to take these stories literally, and not as parables, and eventually the whole framework is adapted to justify the founding of what would become the church, and Christianity, and causing them to be read more as history than anything else, and construed in a moral sense to form the basis of that faith.
The symbolic reading of the stories as parables has been traditionally shunned by the emergent church and a more psychological/mythological appreciation, such as could be found in Philo of Alexandria and others was shunned. But even such a heavily interpretive approach was hardly reflective of the way Jesus taught, if we listen to the Thomas Logia. Even the Gospel of Mark still has a very abstract quality, which is very different from the story tellers of Matthew and Luke who purposely try to weave the Jesus story into Jewish tradition in the first case, and justify the formation of the Church in the second, turning the stories more and more in to would-be histories, with moral points. The Gospel of John however reverts again to a heavily symbolic and mythological framing of the story, which could not possibly be confused with the more narrow story telling of Matthew, Luke and Acts.
The more inner directed, and experiential way to relate to all this which was prevalent in the mystery religions of the Hellenistic world was completely blotted out by the emergent church, but there is no doubt it was around in great volume, but it just fades into the background in the face of the overwhelming "success" of the Christian religion which comes to replace Jesus' teachings. Eventually thousands of " Christianities" are either rooted out or forgotten or both, as the one dominant Catholic religion emerges under the sponsorship of the later Roman Emperors. Thus we end up with a literal church, a real estate empire, and gathering individuals in religious meetings, as well as proselytizing and missionary work, which shift the focus of the teachings from changing our mind to converting others, from inner change, and following Jesus, to a confession to a formal faith in an external Jesus, and from inner change to a moral philosophy and regulation of worldly affairs.
As the Bible emerged as the monolithic Holy Book of Christianity, and supposedly the Word of God, this literalistic, fundamentalist reading became the norm, and Jesus' original teachings were fairly effectively edited out of the book. The world had successfully replaced his very threatening teachings with an idol of him, a "bitter idol," as the Course calls it, for in the world's version Jesus died on the cross, and we can be none to certain that we'll rejoin with him after death. Throughout A Course in Miracles we find entirely the same theme, and there is ample opportunity at times to distort the Course by taking it literally, which leaves nothing but the empty form of knowing, let alone interpreting the Course, in lieu of practicing what it says, and turning to Jesus or the Holy Spirit as our teacher.