Lesson #145 from A Course in Miracles:
My mind holds only what I think with God.
 “Beyond this world there is a world I want.”
 “It is impossible to see two worlds”.
Today we look at the question of how much do we really want the real world beyond this world which we made? How strong is our intent? How much earnestness do we devote to the practice? In each moment we are choosing. Every choice reflects the answer to those questions. We can’t choose two worlds at once. “You cannot see both worlds, for each of them involves a different kind of seeing, and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one is possible because you have denied the other. Both are not true, yet either one will seem as real to you as the amount to which you hold it dear.” (T.13.VII.2.2-4) When we get focused on the things that we want in this world; when we hold grievances; when we react with anger instead of choosing forgiveness; then we are choosing the ego and the world “that has disappointed you since time began.” (T.13.VII.3.1). And when we choose the ego, we are increasingly recognizing that “although you turn in sadness from it; you cannot find in it the road that leads away from it into another world.” (T.13.VII3.7) In each choice that we make, it is for Heaven or for hell. Separation and unity are mutually exclusive states. When we choose one, the other is not in our awareness. Yet in choosing forgiveness, we experience the beauty of joining and of connection and receive a glimmer of the truth of our true power and of the Self that we are.
The only way we know ourselves as we were created, beautiful and holy, is through forgiveness. But how willing are we to forgive in the face of seeming attack, anger, disagreement, perceived problems and distress? That is where the mind training comes in. When we choose to hold onto our grievances and attachments to the world, we block the love that we are from our awareness. In other words, we can’t know ourselves. Our joy and happiness is covered over with our dark thoughts. In that very moment and every moment the Holy Spirit is there shining His radiance on us but we are actively choosing against it by holding attack thoughts. It is an act of self hatred. It is a clear case of not knowing our own best interests. Although we are very familiar with that concept by now, it still calls for our constant vigilance. And it is still a challenge for us because of our attachment to our separate selves. This is where the resistance comes in. But “Love always answers, being unable to deny a call for help, or not to hear the cries of pain that rise to it from every part of this strange world you made but do not want.” (T.13.4.3) It simply waits on our welcome. Our only need is to wake up in Him.
The things of this world seem so real and the experiences we have in the world seem so painful. We have all experienced sadness, sorrow, loss, and yes, exhilaration and pleasures, though not lasting. We experience ourselves as fragile bodies that eventually die. There is no lasting love in this world of time because, by the very nature of time, all things will end as nothing here endures forever. It is a world of instability and loss. A very good movie that takes us on a journey of all things ending in loss and finally death is called “The Stone Angel.” It clearly shows how there is nothing that we can hold onto in this world even though we still cling to the possibility that there is something of value here. We hold out hope that there is something we can still gain. To be free of this experience, we need to do constantly bring the blocks to the light so that we can have a glimpse of of love’s presence in our minds. “Under His guidance you will travel light and journey lightly, for His sight is ever on the journey’s end, which is His goal. God’s Son is not a traveler through outer worlds. However holy his perception may become, no world outside himself hold his inheritance. Within himself he has no needs, for light needs nothing but to shine in peace, and from itself to le the rays extend in quiet to infinity.” (T.13.VII.13.4-5) And thus we come to know a love that does endure forever and a world where hate and vengeance have no meaning.
This world we truly want is called the real world in the course. In Section V of Chapter 30 the real world is described as a state of mind which we experience when we release our guilt through forgiveness. The real world takes the place of all of the idols of this world. There is no more holding dear our special wants and perceived needs. It is important to ask in everything “what is it for?” And when the real world is experienced there will be no desire to leave this state of mind. Chapter 17.II “The Forgiven World” offers us a beautiful picture of the real world which is bright and clean and new, with everything sparkling under the open sun. “Nothing is hidden here, for everything has been forgiven and there are no fantasies to hide the truth.” (T.17.II.2.3) This is what is experienced in the mind when our attachment to this illusory world is released.
When we maintain that there is still something of value in this world of illusion, we do not connect with the place in us where there is this wonderful open, loving heart, full of kindness, totally pure and innocent, shining in acceptance of all. When we connect with that beauty, we radiate purity and joy that is compelling, soft, yielding and welcoming. But it is impossible to see two worlds. Until we make a total commitment to truth, we stay divided hoping to get the best of both our illusory world and the world of spiritual gifts. In other words, we are seeking for the real world while still looking for the perceived benefits of the illusory world. We want to bring spirituality into the illusion so that we can hold onto both our illusory dream and God’s peace. But this is clearly impossible. We must let go of the ego, if only for an instant, in order to experience a glimpse of the truth. It is an inner shift. It is a change of mind.
Truth and illusion are mutually exclusive. The world is made by fear and everything we see is projected from the guilt in our minds. Jesus says that we cherish that guilt, hug it close and shelter it and look to it for “its loving protection and alert defense.” (P.VI.1.3) “Healing occurs as a patient begins to hear the dirge he sings, and questions its validity.” (P.VI.1.5) We don’t shun guilt but embrace it. The first obstacle to peace is the attraction of guilt which produces fear of love. (T.19.IV.i.10) We may wonder why we would be attracted to guilt. This attraction is our investment in our body, our personality and our individuality which are all a projection of guilt. And as long as we want this separate self, we will be attracted to guilt. But healing occurs as we start listening to our thoughts, noticing our judgments and our attachments and questioning their validity. As Jayem put it, in his blog “it is a journey of reclaiming all the territory once made to keep light out, now given over completely to serving the incarnation of light. This light must be brought to every nook and cranny of life.”
This is a world of hallucinations of our own making. As we learn early in the course “nothing I see means anything.” (W.I.1) But then we go on to recognize that we have given everything we see all the meaning that it has for us. (W.P.1.2) Now we must question the meaning that we have put on everything we see, all of our interpretations and understandings are false. It is a time of sorting out the false from the true, the ephemeral from the eternal. God’s strength is what will help us make this choice. Our fantasy is that there is still something that the sensory world has to offer us on behalf of our happiness. This is what we need help with in order to loosen the world from all we thought it was. Thus it is our task to seek and find within ourselves the obstacles to the awareness of the love that we are. We all hold a definition of ourselves which includes our preferences and judgments, our values and beliefs and all of the concepts that we hold that define us in this dream. Yet Jesus is telling us that none of these concepts define us. All that they do is tell us who we are not. Thus we are called to release them so that who we truly are can shine through us. It is a process of loosening up from our rigid investment in the beliefs that we hold.
Love and blessings, Sarah