I loose the world from all I thought it was.
1. What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs? ²And what can save the world except your Self? ³Belief is powerful indeed. ⁴The thoughts you hold are mighty, and illusions are as strong in their effects as is the truth. ⁵A madman thinks the world he sees is real, and does not doubt it. ⁶Nor can he be swayed by questioning his thoughts’ effects. ⁷It is but when their source is raised to question that the hope of freedom comes to him at last.
There is so much in this first paragraph. It is our beliefs that keep the world in chains. As Jesus tells us, the world must be seen differently before it can disappear. We made the world we see now from our beliefs, the belief in fear and guilt. To be free of what we made, we must let go of these beliefs. The world, freed from them will be a happy, peaceful, and loving place. We can then release it entirely and go back to our natural state of formless Love.
When we consider what we have done here, we cannot deny that our beliefs are powerful. This is why we must watch our thoughts carefully and release the ones that are not true. Just because a thought is not true thoughts does not mean they are without power. They are just mighty in what they can make. This does not mean what they make is true, just that it has effects.
If we believe in the effects of impossible beliefs, we are insane. Just as a schizophrenic believes in his thoughts and so lives a frightening, sometimes violent life, we do the same thing. The only difference is that many of us are in agreement with our impossible beliefs and so we think that makes us sane. It does not. We have come to doubt our world and to question its reality. We have reason to hope.
2. Yet is salvation easily achieved, for anyone is free to change his mind, and all his thoughts change with it. ²Now the source of thought has shifted, for to change your mind means you have changed the source of all ideas you think or ever thought or yet will think. ³You free the past from what you thought before. ⁴You free the future from all ancient thoughts of seeking what you do not want to find.
When we change our mind, we change the source of thought. If I am unhappy, it means I am thinking from the perspective of the ego-mind. When I change my mind, I start thinking from the perspective of the Holy Spirit. The thoughts I think I think have effects that are upsetting. The thoughts I think with the Holy Spirit have effects that are pleasant and bring peace and happiness. When I choose to think with the Holy Spirit I free myself from the past and the future.
3. The present now remains the only time. ²Here in the present is the world set free. ³For as you let the past be lifted and release the future from your ancient fears, you find escape and give it to the world. ⁴You have enslaved the world with all your fears, your doubts and miseries, your pain and tears; and all your sorrows press on it, and keep the world a prisoner to your beliefs. ⁵Death strikes it everywhere because you hold the bitter thoughts of death within your mind.
Without the enslaving thoughts of the past and future, all that is left is the present moment. This is true because the past is only past thoughts kept alive in memory. The same is true of the future, just the past being repeated. When we enslave ourselves, we do it to the world as well.
4. The world is nothing in itself. ²Your mind must give it meaning. ³And what you behold upon it are your wishes, acted out so you can look on them and think them real. ⁴Perhaps you think you did not make the world, but came unwillingly to what was made already, hardly waiting for your thoughts to give it meaning. ⁵Yet in truth you found exactly what you looked for when you came.
The world we see is just a reflection of our inner world. If we feel hateful, then the world we see will be a hateful world. If we feel guilty then we will see guilt everywhere we look. Our fear will appear in the world in very specific ways. It is in this way that we give the world meaning and when we look out on the world, we see exactly what we expect to see.
5. There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. ²Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly. ³Ideas leave not their source. ⁴This central theme is often stated in the text, and must be borne in mind if you would understand the lesson for today. ⁵It is not pride which tells you that you made the world you see, and that it changes as you change your mind.
Because we give the world all the meaning it has for us, and because it is a perfect reflection of our inner world, that is all there is to the world. It cannot be other than what we want it to be and that is our release. Ideas leave not their source so the world must change if we change how we think. We think that to take credit or blame for the world is to be arrogant but it is the exact opposite.
6. But it is pride that argues you have come into a world quite separate from yourself, impervious to what you think, and quite apart from what you chance to think it is. ²There is no world! ³This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. ⁴Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth. ⁵He will return and go still farther, or perhaps step back a while and then return again.
Now Jesus tells us this astounding truth, there is no world! What an amazing statement that is. If your mind was open while reading this lesson so far, you probably saw this coming. The world is a reflection of our mind which means it is an idea given form and ideas leave not their source. So, it must be that the world we see exists only in our mind and do not leave our mind. If you cannot yet accept this truth, it’s ok. You can come back as many times as it takes to come to this acceptance. For myself, I don’t relish another go at the world.
7. But healing is the gift of those who are prepared to learn there is no world, and can accept the lesson now. ²Their readiness will bring the lesson to them in some form which they can understand and recognize. ³Some see it suddenly on point of death, and rise to teach it. ⁴Others find it in experience that is not of this world, which shows them that the world does not exist because what they behold must be the truth, and yet it clearly contradicts the world.
8. And some will find it in this course, and in the exercises that we do today. ²Today’s idea is true because the world does not exist. ³And if it is indeed your own imagining, then you can loose it from all things you ever thought it was by merely changing all the thoughts that gave it these appearances. ⁴The sick are healed as you let go all thoughts of sickness, and the dead arise when you let thoughts of life replace all thoughts you ever held of death.
At some point, we will all accept that there is no world and then we will let it go by letting go of our thoughts about it. We imagine separation and all that comes from that belief, pain, sickness, and death. We let go of the belief in guilt and fear, in jealousy and competition. As all these thoughts lose their appeal, we gladly release them. When we no longer believe these thoughts, the world as we have seen it disappears. And when this is accomplished as a whole, the world in both the sick and healed forms disappears.
9. A lesson earlier repeated once must now be stressed again, for it contains the firm foundation for today’s idea. ²You are as God created you. ³There is no place where you can suffer, and no time that can bring change to your eternal state. ⁴How can a world of time and place exist, if you remain as God created you?
God did not create misery, pain, suffering, guilt, hatred, fear, and death. He did create us and what He creates remains as it was created. This being so, how could we make a world with all of these awful attributes? The world is a reflection of our beliefs and we were not given these beliefs in our creation so a world reflective of them can only be an illusion based on an illusion of self. We wanted to pretend to be what we are not, and in our pretense, we have forgotten what we really are. Now we are ready to remember our Self.
10. What is the lesson for today except another way of saying that to know your Self is the salvation of the world? ²To free the world from every kind of pain is but to change your mind about yourself. ³There is no world apart from your ideas because ideas leave not their source, and you maintain the world within your mind in thought.
How wonderful that the solution is so simple. We are mistaken in who we are and we are waking up to the truth because we are ready to do so. In our awakening to our Self, we save the world. We free the world as we free ourselves because the world is just an idea in our mind and we maintain the world in thought. Let’s change those thoughts!
11. Yet if you are as God created you, you cannot think apart from Him, nor make what does not share His timelessness and Love. ²Are these inherent in the world you see? ³Does it create like Him? ⁴Unless it does, it is not real, and cannot be at all. ⁵If you are real the world you see is false, for God’s creation is unlike the world in every way. ⁶And as it was His Thought by which you were created, so it is your thoughts which made it and must set it free, that you may know the Thoughts you share with God.
The world came from our false thinking, thoughts that do not actually exist because we cannot actually think apart from God. So we made an illusion of a world that we keep alive in our mind through continuing to think it. But it cannot ever actually exist and thank God for that. Our thoughts made the world and it is our corrected thoughts that will set it free.
12. Release the world! ²Your real creations wait for this release to give you fatherhood, not of illusions, but as God in truth. ³God shares His Fatherhood with you who are His Son, for He makes no distinctions in what is Himself and what is still Himself. ⁴What He creates is not apart from Him, and nowhere does the Father end, the Son begin as something separate from Him.
I love this paragraph. I want to look at it closely.
Release the world!
He is talking about releasing our wrong-minded thoughts which make up the world.
²Your real creations wait for this release to give you fatherhood, not of illusions, but as God in truth.
We have real creations. We create as God creates.
³God shares His Fatherhood with you who are His Son, for He makes no distinctions in what is Himself and what is still Himself.
God is our Father and, in the same way, we are Father to our creations. He sees us as one with Him. He is God and we are God. No distinctions between what is Himself and what is still Himself.
⁴What He creates is not apart from Him, and nowhere does the Father end, the Son begin as something separate from Him.
Here, we are careful to make a distinction, seeing God as the Father and Christ as the Son but in Heaven there is no such distinction because there is no separation, no duality
13. There is no world because it is a thought apart from God, and made to separate the Father and the Son, and break away a part of God Himself and thus destroy His Wholeness. ²Can a world which comes from this idea be real? ³Can it be anywhere? ⁴Deny illusions, but accept the truth. ⁵Deny you are a shadow briefly laid upon a dying world. ⁶Release your mind, and you will look upon a world released.
14. Today our purpose is to free the world from all the idle thoughts we ever held about it, and about all living things we see upon it. ²They can not be there. ³No more can we. ⁴For we are in the home our Father set for us, along with them. ⁵And we who are as He created us would loose the world this day from every one of our illusions, that we may be free.
The world is not real and we are not here. Nothing that lives is here. There is no here. We are merely revisiting an idea of a world of separation, holding it in memory and imagining it is real. I read something that Ken Wapnick said in A Vast Illusion. I like the way he expressed it. He said, in essence, that all the stories in the world occurred in one single incident, all of history, billions of years, all at once. At the same time, we were given the Correction. So, we have a story we feel like we are living, and at the same time, we have access to the corrected version of that story. All we have to do is forgive and we choose to live the corrected version. Making that choice through forgiveness is how we loose the world from our illusions.
15. Begin the fifteen-minute periods in which we practice twice today with this:
²I who remain as God created me would loose the world from all I thought it was. ³For I am real because the world is not, and I would know my own reality.
⁴Then merely rest, alert but with no strain, and let your mind in quietness be changed so that the world is freed, along with you.
16. You need not realize that healing comes to many brothers far across the world, as well as to the ones you see nearby, as you send out these thoughts to bless the world. ²But you will sense your own release, although you may not fully understand as yet that you could never be released alone.
17. Throughout the day, increase the freedom sent through your ideas to all the world, and say whenever you are tempted to deny the power of your simple change of mind:
²I loose the world from all I thought it was, and choose my own reality instead.
May we not forget that we free everyone as we free ourselves.