I. The Origins of Separation, P 4
4 All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. Of course, you neither can nor have been able to do this. Here is the real basis for your escape from fear. The escape is brought about by your acceptance of the Atonement, which enables you to realize that your errors never really occurred. Only after the deep sleep fell upon Adam could he experience nightmares. If a light is suddenly turned on while someone is dreaming a fearful dream, he may initially interpret the light itself as part of his dream and be afraid of it. However, when he awakens, the light is correctly perceived as the release from the dream, which is then no longer accorded reality. This release does not depend on illusions. The knowledge that illuminates not only sets you free, but also shows you clearly that you are free.
I am innocent. I am innocent. I am innocent, and nothing is happening. I am dreaming and sometimes that dream is a nightmare. There is nothing to be afraid of because nothing is happening. I am not guilty of misusing my creative powers because I cannot create amiss. All that I have done, though it is truly amazing to see, is nothing. The whole world and everything that has ever happened . . . hasn’t happened.
There is a part of my mind that knows this. There is also a part of my mind that is still afraid. This part of my mind still looks at the world as if it is real and feels both pleasure and pain. I still become distracted by and drawn into the illusion. The difference now is that I never quite believe it, and even when it feels its most real, the world begins to recede again as I ask for help. “Holy Spirit, please come into my mind and undo what I have done.”
I make this jump into illusion and out again dozens of times during the day. Most of the time it’s just little things that barely affect me. I think about something that happened in the past and feel a sense of shame or guilt, and then remember I am innocent. It happened as it was meant to happen. It could not have happened any other way. It didn’t happen at all in reality. Sometimes I am a little giddy as I let that truth set in a bit more.
Sometimes the jump feels really big, like when I was wrapped up in my son’s story of pain and suffering. Times like that the world feels very real and it is so hard to remember the world is not real, and yet, my mind never let go of the truth. I knew I was wrong even while I was believing in what I saw with my eyes. I continued to say my prayer even as my heart was breaking and my emotions were sweeping me away.
This seems to be the way of it for now. I am not concerned about any of the apparent “failures” or how long it takes to fully awaken. As the Manual for Teachers says, the teacher of God is not perfect but teaches perfection over and over until she learns it. So, I look at whatever is in front of me, and I ask Spirit what I am to do with this. What am I to learn? What am I to say and to whom? Where am I to go next? Then I write about the experience and whatever understanding Spirit gives me, and I share it with anyone who is ready to hear it. This is the process I have been given to wake up.
But the awakening is not about the story. The illusion does not wake us up. The illusion does not indicate the depth of the sleep. The illusion is just an illusion. It is meaningless until we give it meaning. The meaning I am choosing is to see it as a useful way to see what needs healing within the mind and that is all.
I have been in a deep sleep, but now I am awakening from that sleep, and if I doze off again once in awhile, I am not worried about it. I know that I am sleeping and that makes all the difference in the world. The story and my continued part in it don’t mean I am not awakening. It has, as I have allowed healing, become a tool for the awakening. And, I know what to do to continue the slow awakening. Thank you, God, for that.