1. The slave of idols is a willing slave. For willing he must be to let himself bow down in worship to what has no life and seek for power in the powerless. What happened to the holy Son of God that this could be his wish; to let himself fall lower than the stones upon the ground, and look to idols that they raise him up? Hear, then, your story in the dream you made, and ask yourself if it be not the truth that you believe that it is not a dream.
2. A dream of judgment came into the mind that God created perfect as Himself. And in that dream was Heaven changed to hell, and God made enemy unto His Son. How can God’s Son awaken from the dream? It is a dream of judgment. So must he judge not, and he will waken. For the dream will seem to last while he is part of it. Judge not, for he who judges will have need of idols, which will hold the judgment off from resting on himself. Nor can he know the Self he has condemned. Judge not, because you make yourself a part of evil dreams, where idols are your “true” identity, and your salvation from the judgment laid in terror and in guilt upon yourself.
3. All figures in the dream are idols, made to save you from the dream. Yet they are part of what they have been made to save you from. Thus does an idol keep the dream alive and terrible, for who could wish for one unless he were in terror and despair? And this the idol represents and so its worship is the worship of despair and terror, and the dream from which they come. Judgment is an injustice to God’s Son, and it is justice that who judges him will not escape the penalty he laid upon himself within the dream he made. God knows of justice, not of penalty. But in the dream of judgment you attack and are condemned; and wish to be the slave of idols, which are interposed between your judgment and the penalty it brings.
4. There can be no salvation in the dream as you are dreaming it. For idols must be part of it, to save you from what you believe you have accomplished and have done to make you sinful and put out the light within you. Little child, the light is there. You do but dream, and idols are the toys you dream you play with. Who has need of toys but children? They pretend they rule the world and give their toys the power to move about and talk and think and feel and speak for them. Yet everything their toys appear to do is in the minds of those who play with them. But they are eager to forget that they made up the dream in which their toys are real, nor recognize their wishes are their own.
5. Nightmares are childish dreams. The toys have turned against the child who thought he made them real. Yet can a dream attack? Or can a toy grow large and dangerous and fierce and wild? This does the child believe, because he fears his thoughts and gives them to the toys instead. And their reality becomes his own because they seem to save him from his thoughts. Yet do they keep his thoughts alive and real, but seen outside himself, where they can turn against him for his treachery to them. He thinks he needs them that he may escape his thoughts, because he thinks the thoughts are real. And so he makes of anything a toy, to make his world remain outside himself, and play that he is but a part of it.
6. There is a time when childhood should be passed and gone forever. Seek not to retain the toys of children. Put them all away, for you have need of them no more. The dream of judgment is a children’s game, in which the child becomes the father, powerful, but with the little wisdom of a child. What hurts him is destroyed; what helps him, blessed. Except he judges this as does a child, who does not know what hurts and what will heal. And bad things seem to happen, and he is afraid of all the chaos in a world he thinks is governed by the laws he made. Yet is the real world unaffected by the world he thinks is real. Nor have its laws been changed because he does not understand.
7. The real world still is but a dream. Except the figures have been changed. They are not seen as idols which betray. It is a dream in which no one is used to substitute for something else, nor interposed between the thoughts the mind conceives and what it sees. No one is used for something he is not, for childish things have all been put away. And what was once a dream of judgment now has changed into a dream where all is joy because that is the purpose that it has. Only forgiving dreams can enter here, for time is almost over. And the forms that enter in the dream are now perceived as brother, not in judgment, but in love.
8. Forgiving dreams have little need to last. They are not made to separate the mind from what it thinks. They do not seek to prove the dream is being dreamed by someone else. And in these dreams a melody is heard that everyone remembers, though he has not heard it since before all time began. Forgiveness, once complete, brings timelessness so close the song of Heaven can be heard, not with the ears, but with the holiness that never left the altar that abides forever deep within the Son of God. And when he hears this song again, he knows he never heard it not. And where is time when dreams of judgment have been put away?
9. Whenever you feel fear in any form, – and you are fearful if you do not feel a deep content, a certainty of help, a calm assurance Heaven goes with you, – be sure you made an idol, and believe it will betray you. For beneath your hope that it will save you lie the guilt and pain of self-betrayal and uncertainty, so deep and bitter that the dream cannot conceal completely all your sense of doom. Your self-betrayal must result in fear, for fear is judgment, leading surely to the frantic search for idols and for death.
10. Forgiving dreams remind you that you live in safety and have not attacked yourself. So do your childish terrors melt away and dreams become a sign that you have made a new beginning, not another try to worship idols and to keep attack. Forgiving dreams are kind to everyone who figures in the dream. And so they bring the dreamer full release from dreams of fear. He does not fear his judgment for he has judged no one, nor has sought to be released through judgment from what judgment must impose. And all the while he is remembering what he forgot, when judgment seemed to be the way to save him from its penalty.
As we practice perceiving others as Christ, getting past their form, their stories, the things we heard about them, the things we judged them for – we awaken from the dream of separation and sin. Yes, we are still here in the flesh perceiving with our little eyes looking outside of ourselves, but now instead of judging what we spy with our little eyes, we bring it in to the Kingdom. We bring it in by forgiving it, by refusing to judge it, by confessing to ourselves that we simply have no way of knowing anything at all about what is outside of us unless we bring it to the Sonship where the Brotherhood of Christ makes us one.
We practice the Kingdom of God in the dream by what Jesus calls the forgiving dream. It is a beautiful, gentle way in which to awaken to the Reality of God and to return our consciousness to His Kingdom. We will no longer be a willing slave to idols. We will no longer bow to what is doomed to die, to be forgotten, to return to dust. We will no longer be entrapped in a fictional realm of opposition and opposites to all that would bring us everlasting peace and joy. In other words we recognize this realm as the hell it is and do what it takes to save God’s Son.
Whenever we look upon anyone or anything with the slightest sense of fear, bewilderment, confusion, or doubt we are engaging with idols and associating our reality with that which opposes Christ. Our awakening begins when we stop judging each other by the forms and images that appear to be our reality in the world of perception. When I stop judging everything with my lower mind, with its self-interested, extremely limited human perception, and devote myself to only gentleness and kindness to the Christ within all the figures in the dream change. They are transformed into that which could never hurt me or touch me in a way that would betray my certainty in Christ.
In this state of consciousness and in this practice of forgiveness, the dreams become a melody of love. It is a melody that rings throughout the Sonship, one which we all remember, one that reminds us of who and what we really are and what we are about. Forgiveness brings timelessness so close that the song of Heaven once again resounds within us, and the dirges we sang to take its place are forgotten, put away forever.
Forgiving dreams are the signal for a new beginning. Consciously choosing to forgive brings us full release from all nightmares based on fear. Being kind to everyone and everything in the dream teaches us who and what we are. For in our gentle kindness all judgments are undone, releasing us from the dream of judgment to our reality in God and in Christ, His Son.
A Course in Miracles. Chapter 29 The awakening ix the forgiving dream. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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