VII. The Condition of Reality
- The world as you perceive it cannot have been created by the Father, for the world is not as you see it. God created only the eternal, and everything you see is perishable. Therefore, there must be another world that you do not see. The Bible speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, yet this cannot be literally true, for the eternal are not re-created. To perceive anew is merely to perceive again, implying that before, or in the interval between, you are not perceiving at all. What, then, is the world that awaits your perception when you see it?
- Every loving thought that the Son of God ever had is eternal. The loving thoughts his mind perceives in this world are the world’s only reality. They are still perceptions because he still believes that he is separate. Yet they are eternal because they are loving. And being loving they are like the Father, and therefore cannot die. The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else. For if you perceive both good and evil, you are accepting both the false and the true and making no distinction between them.
- The ego may see some good, but never only good. That is why its perceptions are so variable. It does not reject goodness entirely, for that you could not accept. But it always adds something that is not real to the real, thus confusing illusion and reality. For perceptions cannot be partly true. If you believe in truth and illusion, you cannot tell which is true. To establish your personal autonomy, you tried to create unlike your Father, believing that what you made is capable of being unlike Him. Yet everything true is like Him. Perceiving only the real world will lead you to the real Heaven, because it will make you capable of understanding it.
- The perception of goodness is not knowledge, but the denial of the opposite of goodness enables you to recognize a condition in which opposites do not exist. And this is the condition of knowledge. Without this awareness you have not met its conditions, and until you do you will not know it is yours already. You have made many ideas that you have placed between yourself and your Creator, and these beliefs are the world as you perceive it. Truth is not absent here, but it is obscure. You do not know the difference between what you have made and what God created, and so you do not know the difference between what you have made and what you have created. To believe that you can perceive the real world is to believe that you can know yourself. You can know God because it is His Will to be known. The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation, because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true.
The question continues today in our devotional text: Do we choose God or do we choose ego. Do we say that God created Good and Evil, or do we say that God created only what is good and deny all evil? Do we say that God gave us Life and gave us Death, or do we say that God gave us only life and life eternal? In our text, Jesus tells us that God created only that which lasts forever. The Mind of Christ which is each one of us tells us the same thing for we know in our hearts, no matter how much we try to deny it, that we are far more than the human form that defines our being in the perishable world. If God created a world and it was all good, where did it go? Where is the world that hosts the eternal? Jesus tells us that it is a matter of perceiving. How willing are we to deny the corruption that we made of creation? How willing are we to look greed, lust, violence, decay, destruction, and death square in the face and deny its power to hurt us? How willing are we to turn our back on what we made and accept only the eternal as true?
It is important that we pay particular attention to the first sentence of paragraph two. It is too easy to discount the power of loving thought, but Jesus tells us that our loving thoughts are eternal, and our loving thoughts are the only reality in this perceptual world. It is love, peace, and joy and all the other wonderful attributes of God which are eternal, whether they appear in a dream or in reality. Anything that is of love is of the Father and cannot die. It is through our love that we see the Real World. This is the world without opposition. This is the world without opposites to reality. When we are willing to see only that which is good, that which is loving, lovely, and true we see the Real World.
This is not some pie in the sky philosophy. This is not a practice that just anybody can choose to do on their own. The world as we see it now is seductive. It so wants to mean something. The world of opposites aims to spin its web forever. It wants to take itself into outer space and set up the same kind of unrestful colonies there as it has on our inner space. As long as we are willing to perceive the world of opposites, we are unable to distinguish between truth which is forever and lies which have no eternal value. We will give equal weight to the false because we think it is true and then we will want to go to war against it, which only perpetuates the spin we have put on things.
If we bring this concept down to a personal level, we can enjoy true and loving relationships only when we believe the best about our brothers. As long as we are finding fault with them, reacting to the negative things they say and do with anger, condemnation, and attack therefore giving that which is false about them equal weight with what is true about them – we will have unholy relationships. Sometimes we will feel loving and sometimes, if not most of the time – not so much. Our feelings will change toward each other depending upon our moods, our behaviors, our words, and our opinions about things in general. No matter what relationship we find ourselves in – no matter how much our opinions match about things, no matter how much we are alike – as long as we are willing to see not the best in each other – there will always be something in which the ego can pin its petty spite on about the other.
As easy as it would be to blow this off and complicate the matter of seeing reality, as being holy, as entering into the eternal Kingdom with a bunch of rules, rites, and rituals – it is simply our sincere willingness (not necessarily doing-ness) to perceive nothing but the loving in the world.
The ego could not survive even in the temporal world if it rejected goodness entirely for nobody would accept that! Think of the world with no goodness at all. We would be so busy hating and despising each other that our flesh would be devoured out of existence. So ego relies on goodness to keep it going, but it adds something to what is real that is not real at all thus confusing the issue. As long as I believe that you are both good and bad, I cannot tell what is true about you. Our perceptions then can never judge anything or anybody in truth because we will not be able to separate the truth from the fiction in any way that makes sense.
It is very disturbing to be around someone whose conversations revolve around dismembering separate facts and forming judgments about the stories they make up about them. This is a way in which the ego establishes a sense of separateness in our lives. Instead of creating in wholeness and truth, we break things down into separate bits and shattered pieces and end up with a collage of fiction that we embrace as truth – about each other, about creation, about God Himself.
All that is lovely and of good report is like God. We do not have to dissect it and go looking for faults, sins, and dig up stuff from the past about others to discount their goodness. We do not have to point to their greed, their lack of empathy, their unwillingness to give to charitable organizations. We simply accept goodness as the only reality there is – all that is not good about me has no reality to you or to me just as all that is not good about you is none of my business. We are simply not interested in anything about each other except what is Godly, because our godliness is the only thing about each other that has any meaning.
When we are willing to do this and only this, when we start practicing this in our relationships and in our perceptions of the world, we are practicing for the Kingdom, we begin to perceive the Real World as it was created. This is the path to God. There is nothing magic about it. There is no idolatry involved. We simply begin to perceive goodness and goodness alone for to perceive anything else is to let that which is not of God take the place of God in our minds and in our hearts and dim the light of Christ in our lives.
We learn then, in this topsy-turvy world full of clamor, chaos, and calamities galore, to meet a condition in which opposites do not exist. This is the condition of knowledge. Knowledge is obscured to our awareness as long as we believe that there is any power, any meaning, any purpose for that which is not love, for that which is not good, for that which is not God.
This world as we perceive it with its constant newsreel of that which is not peaceful, loving, or joyful is a conglomeration of all the ideas we have come up with that opposes our Creator. We make the world we perceive. And then we believe in it. Jesus tells us that truth is not absent in the world we made; it is just obscured by that which opposes it.
And so we live in a state of confusion between what we made of the world and the world God created. We do not know the difference between what is a lie about us and what is the truth about us. To believe that we can see the Real World is to believe that we can know ourselves – and God wants us to know ourselves as He knows us, not as we have made ourselves to be.
The Real World, (and I capitalize this) is all the goodness, the love, the peace, the joy, that we created and brought to the Kingdom. This, and this alone is what Holy Spirit collects and saves about us in this realm because it is the only thing that remains real about us. It is the only thing worth saving! Holy Spirit does not collect our dirty thoughts, our wicked deeds, or the ways in which we fail one another and therefore God. As we align ourselves with Holy Spirit, we do the same thing. We collect and save only the beautiful and the lovely about each other. We collect and save only the God in each other. This is our salvation – for it is a recognition that what is not of God can never take the place of what is of God.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 11 God or the ego. VII The condition of reality. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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