III. The Investment in Reality 6-10
6. To identify with the ego is to attack yourself and make yourself poor. That is why everyone who identifies with the ego feels deprived. What he experiences then is depression or anger because what he did was to exchange Self-love for self-hate, making him afraid of himself. He does not realize this. Even if he is fully aware of anxiety, he does not perceive its source as his own ego-identification, and he always tries to handle it by making some sort of insane “arrangement” with the world. He always perceives this world as outside himself, for this is crucial to his adjustment. He does not realize that he makes this world, for there is no world outside of him.
7. If only the loving thoughts of God’s Son are the world’s reality, the real world must be in his mind. His insane thoughts, too, must be in his mind, but an internal conflict of this magnitude he cannot tolerate. A split mind is endangered, and the recognition that it encompasses completely opposed thoughts within itself is intolerable. Therefore the mind projects the split, not the reality. Everything you perceive as the outside world is merely your attempt to maintain your ego identification, for everyone believes that identification is salvation. Yet consider what has happened, for thoughts do have consequences to the thinker. You have become at odds with the world as you perceive it, because you think it is antagonistic to you. This is a necessary consequence of what you have done. You have projected outward what is antagonistic to what is inward, and therefore perceive it this way. That is why you must realize that your hatred is in your mind and not outside it before you can get rid of it; and why you must get rid of it before you can perceive the world as it really is.
8. I said before that God so loved the world that He gave it to His only-begotten son. God does love the real world, and those who perceive its reality cannot see the world of death. For death is not of the real world, in which everything reflects the eternal. God gave you the real world in exchange for the one you made out of your split mind, and which is the symbol of death. For if you could really separate yourself from the Mind of God you would die.
9. The world you perceive is a world of separation. Perhaps you are willing to accept even death to deny your Father. Yet He would not have it so, and so it is not so. You still cannot will against Him, this why you have no control over the world you made. It is not a world of will because it is governed by the desire to be unlike God, and this desire is not will. The world you made is therefore totally chaotic, governed by arbitrary and senseless “laws,” and without meaning of any kind. For it is made out of what you do not want, projected from your mind because you are afraid of it. Yet this world is only in the mind of its maker, along with his real salvation. Do not believe it is outside of yourself, for only by recognizing where it is will you gain control over it. For you do have control over your mind since the mind is the mechanism of this decision.
10. If you will recognize that all the attack you perceive is in your own mind and nowhere else, you will at last have placed its source, and where it begins it must end. For in the same place also lies salvation. The altar of God where Christ abides is there. You have defiled the altar, but not the world. Yet Christ has placed the Atonement on the altar for you. Bring your perceptions of the world to this alter, for it is the altar to truth. There you will see your vision changed, and there you will learn to see truly. From this place, where God and His Son dwell in peace you are welcome, you will look out in peace and behold the world truly. Yet to find the place, you must relinquish your investment in the world as you project it, allowing the Holy Spirit to extend the real world to you from the altar of God.
We come to our devotional practice today like every day, with quiet and still minds ready to perceive the concepts that free our mind of fear and ego attachment and thus bring us to the acceptance of the reality of God. Today’s corresponding Workbook lesson is number 135: If I defend myself I am attacked. We are learning concepts that feel alien to our human identities. You may experience resistance to them. Remember this is not a Course that has any curse attached to it. You will not die and go to hell if you do not believe what it teaches. You will not miss out on the things that God has prepared for you. God’s love for us does not depend upon a belief system. Accept what you can accept and let what you resist rest upon your consciousness. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you the truth and to protect your mind from lies and perversions of the truth. Above all take joy in your walk with God and deny the ego any power to prevent you from knowing the peace of God!
As we review the last five paragraphs of Investment in Reality, we find in paragraph six that we make ourselves poor when we identify with our ego. Poor, in this context, means that we victimize ourselves for identifying with a perverted version of reality. Even if we consciously do not remember the Kingdom of God, subconsciously we will naturally feel deprived in a realm that opposes Love. In this realm of “not perfect,” we cannot help but feel angry or depressed over the injustice of it all. We become afraid of ourselves, for we are capable of not only making mistakes, but of doing great harm and harboring intense ill will which is unworthy of God’s Son.
And it is a tricky situation at best for our flesh eyes look out instead of inward to the source. Our bodies are designed to blame the outer world for the state of our mind. This is a crucial ego construct for by looking outward we fail to remember our power resides within us, we invest ourselves in our projections upon the world, rather than the Kingdom of God within.
Remember that there is nothing in this outer world except the loving thoughts we project upon it which can withstand eternity. Our mind is where the split from God’s Kingdom took place and the world as we perceive it is the reflection of this split. For in our minds resides the real world created by God for His Son and the insane world which opposes God.
Take a deep look at paragraph seven and ask Holy Spirit to open your mind to the idea that what we perceive as frightening about the world is merely a projection of the separated, ego state of being. Instead of identifying with the Mind of Christ, the insane world represents identification with the ego. The insane world is the direct consequence of the antagonism we project upon it toward God, one another, and all of Creation.
Jesus tells us that it is critical that we realize that the hatred we perceive in the world is in our mind and not in the outside world. We cannot get rid of the hatred in our mind if we are always blaming it on the outside world and reacting to the things that seem to go on there. We can only perceive the world as it was created, the Real World of bliss and beauty and forever, when we realize the source of hatred and get rid of it in our minds where it takes place.
God loves the world He created. He gave it to us, His Son. There is no death in the God-created world for all that God creates reflects the everlasting. The separation from God gave us a simulated world which while still retaining the attributes of God also opposes God. So we have life and death, love and hate, peace and war, and so on. There would be no world at all if God could truly be opposed and done away with forever for death, hatred, war, and so on could never stand alone.
The perceptual world is a separated world, a place where those who would oppose God are assigned to do time. The only worthy use of doing time is to use it to come to our senses, to come to terms with reality. For the reality is this: God’s Love is and because God’s Love is, even those who would rather accept death to deny Him can never be lost, can never cease to exist, can never curse themselves enough to escape His Love. No will can be formed against God; a world made of ideas that are unlike Him is not a world at all. Because it is a disconnected, collage of separate bits of truth and opposition to truth, it is totally chaotic. The laws that are devised to govern this hot mess are as meaningless (and as cruel) as the hot mess itself! It cannot be any other way because we project what we do not want upon it, we project what we are afraid of upon it, we seem to exist then in a world that fills us with fear and a great desire to protect ourselves from it.
The only way we gain control over the perceptual world is to recognize that it is not outside of us –all that strains our minds with fear, fret, and frantic can only be dealt with from its source. Jesus tells us that we do have control over our mind – it is our minds which are the mechanism for this decision. Do we choose a world separated from God, opposed to Love, opposed to Peace, opposed to Joy? Or do we choose a world devoted only to God, only to Love, to Peace, to Joy? That decision is ours and ours alone.
When we are willing to look inward instead of outward and recognize that all attack that we perceive coming at us from outside of ourselves, no matter whom our ego assigns as perpetrator, as coming from our own mind against ourselves – we will have come to the end of all attack. For in the place of all attack, also rests our salvation. Our minds are the inner altar of God which belongs to Christ, His Son. This altar has been defiled by all that opposes God, not Creation itself.
In paragraph 10, Jesus tells us that Christ has placed the Atonement on the altar for us. Christ entered into the realm of death and overcame it! His resurrection serves as the means, as the Atonement for the separation from God. It is not punishment. It is not blood offerings or any other beastly practice. God is Spirit, and we must come to Him in Spirit, not by offering human gifts but by giving Him the same love and devotion in which He has created our Being. When we bring our perceptual world to the inner altar, we leave it there, asking only for truth. Here is where we learn to see truly because our vision becomes the Vision of Christ. Our Mind becomes the Mind of Christ. We no longer identify with the poverty of the ego, with the victimhood of our humanity, we identify only with Christ for in Him we are no longer separated and alone, we are One.
It is from the inner altar that we enter the Kingdom of God. There is God and Creation welcoming us for now we are peace, now we are love, now we are joy. We no longer invest in opposition; we no longer want a world of opposites. Through the eyes of Love we look out in peace and behold the world as it really is.
To find this Kingdom, we relinquish investment in the perceptual world. We take responsibility for the world we see by bringing it to the inner altar of our minds and saying, This is not the world I want. I do not want to be afraid. I do not want anger, I do not want spite, I do not want greed, injustice, war, and hatred. I do not want the perverted systems that promise heaven but indebt us to hell. I only want You. Show me the truth, dear Father. And when we do this, Holy Spirit takes the place of all that is unholy in our minds. For we have come to the altar of God within us. This is the one holy place, and it has been there all along patiently biding in love and undying devotion throughout our history in time. For the altar to God is within us and it is on this altar that we lay down our stories of oppression, sin, and death, our blame and our shame to invest our all in the truth of God’s Love.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 12 The Holy Spirit’s curriculum. III The investment in reality 6-10. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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