If the world is a state of mind, where is Heaven?
We have created an illusion of our Self as an independent being, isolated from What gives it life. We call this phantom self an ego. We imagine it in conflict with “other” egos, and in so doing create a war between them; a war against our one Self. Now we are lost in the battles they perform. Yet what is there to win in a battle of illusions all fought against our Self? We are so lost we do not see that it is God we are trying to overcome, thinking we can replace His Creation with the make-believe characters we have made. Step back a moment from this war into the Presence of your God Self. There is an ancient memory held for us there of eternal loving and being loved. Affirm this is where you want to be and let the madness of impossible illusions be replaced by the Peace of God.
Listen . . . Do you hear God calling, asking for your help? It may sound like a brother asking to be loved. Or a sister wanting to be reassured. We have many opportunities to hear Him call, if we will be still a moment and just listen. Make this the purpose of your world, to hear Him call and offer you the gift to see and bless His holy Child that He created one with you. To love each one without a thought of what his dream is that we condemned before. Bless each one until you have blessed them all and the world is brightened by the love you now see.
Be still and listen . . . Can you hear Him now?
To know God, recognize He is your brother’s creator; that all Creation is an extension of Everything God Is. Each time, then, that you call your brother’s name and bring his presence into your awareness, God’s Presence must be there too. Now when you are tempted to judge an image the ego would make of your brother, remember that God is also there. See past the image perception has made to what is really there. To know God is to know where to find Him. And then you will find Him in everything you see.
If you look at the world and see all the pain and suffering, the hatred and attack that seems to be there and come to the conclusion that forgiveness of the whole world is too much a stretch for you, remind yourself that everything you see “out there” is a mirror for how you see yourself. To forgive is to see without sin. Not to be able to forgive reflects something “unforgivable” we see within ourselves. To truly forgive and be able to love again is to recognize that sin cannot be real because it is not present in the Thought of God; does not exist in His Love for His Creation. All forgiveness then, begins with forgiving yourself for having condemned what God has created in perfect Love.
Abandoning perception entirely results in perfect peace.
To love yourself means to appreciate and respect the beauty and the holiness of God’s one Creation, and then accept that this is who “we” are.
The need to “understand” is our attempt to find value in using our perception to find answers and so make it real and justify a reason to keep it. But our perception is founded on a belief – sin – that cannot be true. There is nothing in it that will bring us to unconditional loving or to remember our Oneness, so whatever we “understand” thru its use is meaningless. Let it go. When you are tempted to make a judgment, stop and remind yourself we have been given an alternative, loving way to “see” that is real. This acknowledgement alone will bring Love’s Vision to you, for it is already there. What more do you really need to understand when you choose to let Love guide you?
From Brother on letting go of the body ID and the fear of dying:
“As you learn to have more appreciation for the reality of your innocent and loving nature, you will correspondingly find less need to value your separateness. This, in turn, decreases the very purpose your body serves. It is true you fear the possibility of losing your identity without the body, but the reason it seems important to maintain your individual identity is to separate you from those you would try to make more guilty than you. Accepting the truth that sin is not real both releases your guilt and the need to judge your brother as well. With the need for separation fading you will find the things that previously made the body necessary now are losing importance. Without your guilt your attraction to God returns. Without the need for separateness this world will give way to Heaven. And without the fear of God there is no need to identify yourself different or apart from Him.”
Jesus tells us that as we let go our belief in sin and our need to be separate we will feel ourselves “disappearing into God.” This is very frightening to the ego whose existence depends on its separate identity. But to those who embraces Spirit as their reality, disappearing into God must occur when the thought of separation is gone and the true nature of our Oneness with Him is remembered. We then realize that having God’s Love is not something for us to achieve or deserve. Having it is a gift we have already received. And keeping It only seems an option when we think our stories of sin and separation are actually real and true. Let us together take a moment and reaffirm that what we seek is already ours. Now give this gift to two others, requesting they do the same. As we “disappear” into God together we will find the Love that separately has escaped us and know that our journey is done.
When I am gripped by a thought of fear and feel a sense of unreasonable panic, it is because it is my belief there is something real to fear. The source of all fear is the belief in sin. It does not come from the threat of war or starvation, losing someone you love, global warming or a thousand other threats. These are all effects arising from the belief there is something wrong with me – the idea of sin. Sin, in fact, is the single thought that stands between truth and illusion. This, then, makes forgiveness the means to becoming fearless. Forgiveness is the most powerful tool we have to change our mind and our world, but it is virtually useless if there is one perception of separateness, one thing you fear or value in the world that you insist must be real. Forgive yourself and discover what a force for loving you really are.
When we try to correct the dream of sin and separation we have made it real and all the stories of separation in the world will then seem to be true. But the stories about sin and the loss of love cannot be real because there is no sin or lack of love in God. Separation could not happen. The will of God has not been overturned. We can forgive every thought and act that we thought has happened in our dreams of fear. They have not changed or had any effects at all on who or what we are or any part of what is created by an infinitely loving God. What was created from Love, irreversibly as One to forever extend love, has not been affected. Nothing has separated God from His Creation. Nothing real has happened in the dreams that have unfolded from the illusion that sin is real. We are innocent and free, regardless of how we may see ourselves.
August 21, 2014. (from Linda)
For over twenty-seven years I have studied ACIM almost daily, trying to understand how to experience the application of what is taught in those many inspiring pages. This particular morning, I stopped reading, put the book down, and sat there, simply letting myself feel so much love and gratitude for its Author. As I was immersed in that wonderful feeling, I mentally received this instruction: “Now extend that love.”
I was willing to do so. To my amazement, I then began to experience an awareness of that Loving feeling expanding like an omnipresent wave, spreading Love like an exquisite blanket of light moving over and replacing all the many forms of separation that I normally might define as the “world”. It was a Vision of such beautiful, indefinable Love my words cannot adequately define it. In that moment, I first felt, and then realized, what all the teachings of non-duality have been trying to tell us: There absolutely is a unity without form and far more beautiful than words of anything my ego’s focus can imagine. Definitions aren’t needed here for I was aware that there was nothing separate, no forms of anything; just the flow of Love in which all of Creation, including “me”, exists. It is Perfection of Unity beyond my imagination.
While I have not been able to have this kind of experience through my many years of trying to understand ACIM, I suspect it is significant that I did experience it within a minute or two of opening my heart to a deep feeling of Love and gratitude that I can always easily feel for our beloved Teacher. I suspect that you too can use that loving feeling for “him” as a similar means to expand into a greater awareness of Love’s reality. You won’t be alone.
When you have doubt about who you are, check the label imprinted on your soul: MADE IN HEAVEN.
Awakening is about learning to recognize Love where it now is and always has been. ACIM tells us it is a course in learning how to “see differently,” to tell the difference between truth and illusion. That doesn’t mean being able to look on pain and suffering and see it differently. It means finding the Presence of Love within you that does not see the story of pain and suffering because, in truth, in God’s Creation, it is not there. Do not be tempted to reconcile truth with illusion. They are irreconcilable. To forgive sin is to recognize it cannot co-exist with love and therefore cannot exist at all. Ask to see only what love sees and allow a world of holiness to take the place of a world of fear. This is the miracle of real forgiveness. This is how you exercise your role as a Creator and extender of Truth.
When you don’t feel good about yourself it must be because you have accepted the ego’s evaluation. Don’t be frustrated because you expect it to be accepting; and don’t try to teach it how to love. That is not the role the ego plays. Ask instead to be shown the Face of Christ. There is no confusion there that you are loved.
You are not the “person” who is in pain; not the one who has fearful thoughts and quickly judges guilt. Nor are you the one who forgives to find the peace and joy, forgiveness brings. You are not the one within the dream, within the world that sin makes real. This person is a character in a story needed to support a “tiny mad idea,” that God’s Creation could become something else; that what is forever loving and filled with joy could be reduced to hate and suffering. You are the one who sleeps and dreams the dream of guilt and pain that has the need of forgiveness. One of these “beings” is the real, God created You. The other only an image in your mind. Trying to heal what is not real only reinforces the illusion of the dreamer and his dream. Ask the Holy Spirit on your behalf to forgive your belief that sin is real, then ask to see the face of Christ instead.
When you feel sick or fearful it seems natural to want to find what will heal the sickness or relieve the fear. Most of the time we find a solution hard to achieve. The reason for this is because the “self” we are trying to heal is an image we have made of a guilty self that we secretly think should be sick. In truth, the “you” who holds the image of the “sick” you, is the perfectly created Child of God Who cannot be sick. Healing, then, must be directed to changing the misperception that would make sickness seem to serve some purpose to one who cannot really be sick. Choose to see the Face of Christ on one you have judged deserving to be sick or fearful. Release yourself from the sentence you imposed on the image you made of him and free yourself from the fear of God’s Judgment and the need to be sick.
When someone seems to have attacked you, realize instead how unloved they feel. Instead of mounting a defense, ask what you can do to help them. Choosing a loving solution which allows joining to occur is healing for everyone.
I fear death because I think my happiness and those that I love are in the world that I will leave. Neither is true. This is simply the culmination of our belief in separation; that what sustains us is “outside of who and what we are. Only the recognition of our eternal Oneness will reassure me I am forever surrounded by the loving presence of all that God created one with, and as an essential part of me. There is, in truth, no “place” to go where we can be separate from our Self. It is only our misperceived guilt and its need to be separate that keeps this awareness from us. Ask to be shown the face of Christ in those you might previously have judged. Practice using “eyes” that can see and discover a “world” of Love where no one has a need to leave.