ACIM Workbook 8. What Is the Real World

ACIM Workbook 8. What Is the Real World? The real world cannot be perceived except through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see a world where terror is impossible, and witnesses to fear can not be found.

What if I told you"...this course aims at a complete reversal of thought." M-24.4:1

8. What Is the Real World?

1. The real world is a symbol, like the rest of what perception offers. ²Yet it stands for what is opposite to what you made. ³Your world is seen through eyes of fear, and brings the witnesses of terror to your mind. ⁴The real world cannot be perceived except through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see a world where terror is impossible, and witnesses to fear can not be found.

The real world isn’t real. It is a symbol of reality, a reflection of the truth. It is what we experience when our mind is healed and we no longer terrorize ourselves with untrue beliefs. Without these ego thoughts in our minds, we see the world differently. I’ve seen this in my own life. I used to be terrified of bad weather. I remember one time my brother came to stay with me because there was a bad storm and he knew how afraid I would be. Over time, my belief in the world has loosened and with it the fear thoughts that used to terrorize me. I actually enjoy storms now.

A World Seen Differently

2. The real world holds a counterpart for each unhappy thought reflected in your world; a sure correction for the sights of fear and sounds of battle which your world contains. ²The real world shows a world seen differently, through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace. ³Nothing but rest is there. ⁴There are no cries of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing there remains outside forgiveness. ⁵And the sights are gentle. ⁶Only happy sights and sounds can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.

When the world was made by us, the Answer to the world was given. The Holy Spirit corrected each untrue thought. We have a choice, always. We can experience the world as the battleground we made of it. Or, we can experience the corrected version of the world. We can see the world through forgiving eyes. It hardly seems possible but if that is so, it is because we are asking the ego to interpret what we see. Instead, we can ask the Holy Spirit for His interpretation and we will see love or a call for love, nothing else.

Here is an example. I used to feel attacked if someone disagreed with me. Sometimes I would avoid that person or sometimes I would defend myself. Either way, I was at war even if it was a cold war, that is, all happening in my mind. War is violent even when it never gets further than our thoughts. It costs us our peace of mind.

Now, even if the person thinks they are attacking me, what I experience is someone who wants happiness but doesn’t know what it takes to get it. Why would I defend against that? I wouldn’t because that doesn’t feel like an attack against me. It feels like a call for love so I give love. Because giving is receiving, I receive love and peace and happiness.

Question Your Thinking to Change Your World

3. What need has such a mind for thoughts of death, attack and murder? ²What can it perceive surrounding it but safety, love and joy? ³What is there it would choose to be condemned, and what is there that it would judge against? ⁴The world it sees arises from a mind at peace within itself. ⁵No danger lurks in anything it sees, for it is kind, and only kindness does it look upon.

This paragraph reminds me of a Byron Katies story that influenced my understanding of the real world. This is the story as I remember it. Byron Katie was invited to speak in a part of the world that we would consider dangerous. Her friends begged her not to go pointing out the dangers. She told them that she was in danger nowhere in the world. I don’t remember her exact words but it was something like this. She can’t be in danger because there is no thought of violence in her. She knows that the world is a reflection of her mind.

As Katie says, she teaches people to question their thinking and this changes their world. She has only kindness in her mind so there is no danger in her world. If our world seems to show us angry, hateful people, that tells us that we need to change our minds. From a changed mind comes a changed world. Once we have released all thoughts opposed to truth, we will see a peaceful world. This is because a peaceful world will arise from a mind at peace within itself.

A Symbol that the Dream of Sin and Guilt Is Over

4. The real world is the symbol that the dream of sin and guilt is over, and God’s Son no longer sleeps. ²His waking eyes perceive the sure reflection of his Father’s Love; the certain promise that he is redeemed. ³The real world signifies the end of time, for its perception makes time purposeless.

5. The Holy Spirit has no need of time when it has served His purpose. ²Now He waits but that one instant more for God to take His final step, and time has disappeared, taking perception with it as it goes, and leaving but the truth to be itself. ³That instant is our goal, for it contains the memory of God. ⁴And as we look upon a world forgiven, it is He Who calls to us and comes to take us home, reminding us of our Identity which our forgiveness has restored to us.

Once we have forgiven the world as we see it by forgiving our beliefs about it, we will experience the symbol of a forgiven world, what Jesus is calling the real world. With the redemption of the world, not only is sin and guilt gone but so is time and perception. This is the instant that is our goal, the instant in which the world as we know it disappears. That is the instant that contains the memory of God and of Self. That is the instant in which He takes us Home.

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