Beyond this world there is a world I want.
1. This is the thought that follows from the one we practiced yesterday. ²You cannot stop with the idea the world is worthless, for unless you see that there is something else to hope for, you will only be depressed. ³Our emphasis is not on giving up the world, but on exchanging it for what is far more satisfying, filled with joy, and capable of offering you peace. ⁴Think you this world can offer that to you?
Yesterday’s lesson that the world holds nothing I want can leave us feeling at a loss. It feels as if the world is all we have. We might wonder what we are supposed to do with that lesson. It might even feel depressing to think of it. But today’s lesson clarifies this for us. We are not being asked to give up anything of value, only to exchange it for something of great worth.
2. It might be worth a little time to think once more about the value of this world. ²Perhaps you will concede there is no loss in letting go all thought of value here. ³The world you see is merciless indeed, unstable, cruel, unconcerned with you, quick to avenge and pitiless with hate. ⁴It gives but to rescind, and takes away all things that you have cherished for a while. ⁵No lasting love is found, for none is here. ⁶This is the world of time, where all things end.
It takes only a moment’s consideration to see that what Jesus says here is true. One could have an ideal life and, in a moment, lose everything that matters. It all feels so capricious. If we think about it, we realize that any sense of control we have is an illusion. I believe that the reason we don’t think about it a lot is that it would make our experience too frightening and too depressing.
3. Is it a loss to find a world instead where losing is impossible; where love endures forever, hate cannot exist and vengeance has no meaning? ²Is it loss to find all things you really want, and know they have no ending and they will remain exactly as you want them throughout time? ³Yet even they will be exchanged at last for what we cannot speak of, for you go from there to where words fail entirely, into a silence where the language is unspoken and yet surely understood.
4. Communication, unambiguous and plain as day, remains unlimited for all eternity. ²And God Himself speaks to His Son, as His Son speaks to Him. ³Their language has no words, for what They say cannot be symbolized. ⁴Their knowledge is direct and wholly shared and wholly one. ⁵How far away from this are you who stay bound to this world. ⁶And yet how near are you, when you exchange it for the world you want.
What Jesus is offering is ideal. First, we find a world where everything is perfect and there is no loss, where everything good endures throughout time. A world where there is only love. Then we exchange even that world for something greater, something for which there are no words to describe it. This is Reality; this is God.
5. Now is the last step certain; now you stand an instant’s space away from timelessness. ²Here can you but look forward, never back to see again the world you do not want. ³Here is the world that comes to take its place, as you unbind your mind from little things the world sets forth to keep you prisoner. ⁴Value them not, and they will disappear. ⁵Esteem them, and they will seem real to you.
6. Such is the choice. ²What loss can be for you in choosing not to value nothingness? ³This world holds nothing that you really want, but what you choose instead you want indeed! ⁴Let it be given you today. ⁵It waits but for your choosing it, to take the place of all the things you seek but do not want.
Heaven is a choice away. We choose what we would have in each moment, everything or nothing. Illusions are nothing so why choose them? All our choices are made as a result of what we believe. I see my path as one in which one choice led naturally to the next. First I had to choose to believe in what I have always believed or to believe what Jesus tells us in the Course. Choosing to believe Jesus, led me to the next choice. I had to choose to watch my thoughts or not. I chose to be vigilant for my thoughts. The next decision was whether to keep the thought as true or to recognize that a thought that costs me my peace is something I don’t want so I can release it to the Holy Spirit. Each choice was based on what has value to me. These choices are the difference between remaining in hell or awakening to Heaven.
7. Practice your willingness to make this change ten minutes in the morning and at night, and once more in between. ²Begin with this:
³Beyond this world there is a world I want. ⁴I choose to see that world instead of this, for here is nothing that I really want.
⁵Then close your eyes upon the world you see, and in the silent darkness watch the lights that are not of this world light one by one, until where one begins another ends loses all meaning as they blend in one.
8. Today the lights of Heaven bend to you, to shine upon your eyelids as you rest beyond the world of darkness. ²Here is light your eyes can not behold. ³And yet your mind can see it plainly, and can understand. ⁴A day of grace is given you today, and we give thanks. ⁵This day we realize that what you feared to lose was only loss.
Here is the other part of awakening, taking time to sit in stillness and allow the mind to experience light and thus to realize it is real and possible and something worth pursuing. What is it that we feared to lose? Only that which is not real and so there is no loss.
9. Now do we understand there is no loss. ²For we have seen its opposite at last, and we are grateful that the choice is made. ³Remember your decision hourly, and take a moment to confirm your choice by laying by whatever thoughts you have, and dwelling briefly only upon this:
⁴The world I see holds nothing that I want.
⁵Beyond this world there is a world I want.
Slowly, step by step, lesson by lesson, we teach ourselves that we have been wrong and that we can now change our mind to something that works. It is gentle and loving, this process we do. So very little is asked of us that we receive so much.