Nothing Real Can Be Threatened. Nothing Unreal Exists.

manet - bar“This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God. (T-in.2)”

1 – Illusion

As I read this passage, it seems to me that we are encouraged, once again, to see that the world in which we live is illusion. It is not real, and therefore does not truly exist. The real, in my view, are the intangibles of hope, love, joy, peace, and the like. These cannot be taken from us except by our choice. And when we are in our right minds, we choose to keep these blessings in our hearts.

We have the peace of God when we have His intangibles. And the passage concludes, “Herein lies the peace of God.”

2 – Special Attention

This passage is the epigram for A Course in Miracles, and, as such, deserves particular consideration. Let’s take a look at the words themselves, and how they are interpreted elsewhere in ACIM.

3 – The Real

The “real” is usually referred to as the “real world,” the unplaced place that we see when we are nearing Awakening. The real world is experienced only briefly, but we don’t know what “brief” means in eternity. Mari Perron, the scribe for A Course of Love, believes that when we have experienced Awakening, we are in fact not living an illusion any longer, but are experiencing reality. Hugh Prather, in an afterlife visit to his friend Jerry Jampolsky, however, said that A Course in Miracles was absolutely correct, that we are living an illusion. And Hugh was an advanced teacher of God. So there can be no easy answers. We, each of us, need to turn within to ask what truth is for us, what we truly believe.

4 – The Unreal

The “unreal” is the illusion, the maya in which we find ourselves throughout most of our lives, before Awakening, at the least. And this unreal does not have to affect us adversely, though it usually does. The pain, the suffering, all can be seen as the mirages that they are. And we can turn aside from them just as surely as we welcomed them.

5 – Real World

There is an extremely reassuring passage that bears quoting, about the real world:

“Sit quietly and look upon the world you see, and tell yourself: ‘The real world is not like this. It has no buildings and there are no streets where people walk alone and separate. There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim. There is no loss. Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever.’ (T-13.VII.1)”

6 – Mystery

I do not pretend to understand what is being said here. But I know that the real world, if experienced as joy, is not dependent upon things of this world to sustain it. This is what I think is meant here. Not that there will be no things of this world, but that we will see them differently. They will not mean anything particular, just because what we see is physical. We will have our sights on the nonphysical, on the intangible. And we will be much the better for it.

7 – Take a Moment

We need to take a moment from time to time to ask what really matters, what the real world will truly show to us. And when we find an answer, we need to engrave it upon our hearts. Certainly we have progressed beyond the desire to attract material objects as a way of self-aggrandizement. But we need something to replace the physical objects with, or we will experience a sense of loss. And there is no need—ever—to experience a sense of loss. The happiness that Jesus gives as we approach Awakening, as we experience the happy dreams the Holy Spirit sends, is without parallel in the physical universe. It is not physical at all. We have our physical needs satisfied, but that is of small consequence to us. We are looking at a higher reality.

8 – All Will Be Well

So let us seek the real as we go about our world. Let us drop the unreal.

And all will be well.

Affirmation: “Let us seek for the real today.”


Dear Father/Mother,

I am thankful for You today. This is a particularly good day, and it comes to me from You. May all with whom I come in contact in any way be blessed by their circumstances today.

Be with my significant others today and every day. May I fulfill what You would have me say and do for them.


Author: Celia Hales

I intend "Miracles Each Day" to offer inspiration and insight into A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery, Choose Only Love, Mirari, and similar readings.

84 thoughts on “Nothing Real Can Be Threatened. Nothing Unreal Exists.”

  1. Hi Celia,

    I recently read Jon Mundy’s book, “Living a Course in Miracles.” I came across the quote “Nothing Real Can Be Threatened. Nothing Unreal Exists. Herein Lies the Peace of God.” The reminder that only Love is real resonated deep within me. I felt so relieved. I no longer felt a need to try to control or protect against perceived threats. I have started writing again on my blog, this time with a focus on forming loving habits. I’ve found that my writing has been easier, more enjoyable, and I feel great about it. I am so thankful for the reminders that I have received and I am giving each day. It’s great to connect with you. 🙂

    With warmth,

  2. This has had tremendous meaning for me today. I am at a crossroads in the relationship I am in and it was only having “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists” recited back to me today am I able to be at peace with the decision at hand. I appreciate your post which affirms that. Thank you.

  3. I’ve been curious about A Course in Miracles for many years. Apparently, it is time to look further. Regarding what is real, I would love a world with no buildings, no streets and no artificial light. But God’s creation draws me closer to God, the Creator. Wondering how nature fits into this way of thinking. I realize this may be addressed in another post. I look forward to exploring.

    1. Thank you for all your comments very much. A Course in Miracles says elsewhere that this world that we view with our physical eyes is an illusion. There is a real world beyond what we can see.

      But this gets into the theology of A Course in Miracles, and theology divides, something that we don’t want. We can all have a universal experience, though, and that is what ACIM advocates. The thought that a universal theology is impossible, and a universal experience is not only desirable, but necessary, are ACIM tenets.

      Thank you very much that now seems to be the time for you to look into A Course in Miracles. I encourage you to purchase the book so that you can read first hand, not depend just on what I have interpreted. All the best to you. You and people like you are the reason that I have stood firm in writing this blog for so long.

      Most fondly, Celia

  4. It is wonderful to meet you. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. ACIM changed my life by unlocking the door to my true memory. Along with Michael Newton’s studies, i have found comfort that sees me through my steps through the illusion. I look forward to reading your work. 😊

  5. I respect the real vs unreal and understand that as we train our perceptive and cognitive skills that all can delve deeper into this subject.

    The ethereal is often understood to be the unreal however these aspects are neither illusory or spiritually intangible. The “real” is the powerful truths about God, the purpose of life and that we need to keep peering into the sacred secret of god.

    The unreal is often more focused on the transitory things, possessions and people – hence the struggle for many as they are caught in the now and not the present.

    Thank you for reading my blog and I will follow yours with interest.

    1. Love your gifts on reality. ACOL seems to have another clue in The Belief: No Relationships Are Special. “Remember too the practice of devotion for in this practice is the truth separated from illusion.”

  6. Hello 🙂 Loving the Journey to consciousness we are all on.
    All talking the same language.
    All finding just the right guidance at just the right time.
    Thank you for the follow.
    Much Love and light to you 🙂

  7. The tension that exists between the world we live in and the world God created us to truly enjoy is always a mystery to me. The transitory versus the divine permanence. You’ve got many intriguing things here–I look forward to reading more. Thanks for the follow.

  8. I just figured out how to get to those who follow me! I am so new that today is the first day I was able to view you writings beautiful, and I hope you enjoy your “real” life follow on my blog! It is funny that I discovered this post so shortly after I blogged on For real! Perceptions are so different but have each have their own treasure of values! I am clearly an amatuer in comparison! Now if you reply, I’ll have to figure out how to get to it! For real! LOL!

  9. Thank you for sharing this teaching. It reminds me of a text that I am currently blogging about: “The Bhagavad Gita” ( Chapter 2 verse 16 of that thousand year old text reads (in the version that I post):
    “The unreal has no being; the real never ceases to be. Those who see the truth see the boundary between the two.”
    This was one of the stanzas of the Bhagavad Gita that originally drew me to it.
    The truth is profound and a tremendous refuge.

  10. Hi Celia, these are beautiful words indeed, but when reading them, I couldn’t help but think such existential ideas are for folks who are warm and secure, and with full bellies having no doubt of whence comes their next meal.

    I think those around the world, especially children, experience objective reality, which, for them, is worse than nightmares. The emotions you mention, hope, love, joy, peace, are about the self and for many, have never been experienced. So, I would include these as well, but would add the greatest of attributes, universal empathy and benevolent reciprocity. These can enhance not only the self, but others as well.

  11. There are many docking points in the world, from Camus to Herman Hesse and Dostoevsky we are inundated with perspectives. I was looking at a book on Philosophy and that includes Socrates and God. Man and the need for persecution. So many needs that do not involve Maslow. Just a gossip column.

  12. I will, of course, note that this is also an explanation of roughly what nirvana and samsara mean in Buddhism.

    What I’ve found is that these realities are not philosophical. They’re deeply pragmatic, and they’re lived.

    It’s not that the world is some kind of weird mirage. Maybe it is, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that, even if it is as solid as we intuitively think, we become overinvested in the wrong things. We get locked into negative emotional patterns and ignore positive ones.

    I personally think the ancient sages stumbled effectively upon cognitive-behavioral therapy and similar approaches that had real concrete use for people, and they were ultimately turned into religions because of the later inadequacies of their followers. The Buddha made utterly clear that the dharma is like a raft that you use to cross a river: Once you’re done with the river, you don’t use the raft anymore.

    1. even if it is as solid as we intuitively think, we become overinvested in the wrong things. We get locked into negative emotional patterns and ignore positive ones.

      Super perception.
      Even if it is as unreal as we counter intuitively can comprehend, we still, as a species and as individuals doing the work, need to invest our energies in the “right” things: positive emotional patterns, focussing on what works.

      I love to rewrite your excellent statement in a way that I feel it, and need it to be said to reach my unconscious.

  13. Absolutely correct. I am also a great lover of A Course In Miracles, and the illuminated wisdom contained within it. Thanks for following my blog.

  14. Hi Celia, In regards to “Illusion” and the “Unreal”. This world that we live in is a mere illusion that is being used by Satan to deceive the masses regardless of their religion. The realm the God almighty (Yahweh) and Jesus Christ reside in is the the Real World. However,Most of us can’t see it due to our own sin and iniquity. Jeremiah 3:25 “We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.” Once we turn from sin our eyes are opened to the illusions of this world we live in now, and we begin to see the unseen.

  15. Celia, a profound and provocative post. The theme that keeps echoing for me is that quiet reflection is needed to observe and feel truth, and the incessant data avalanche that we are continually subjected to (and subject ourselves to), muddies the water. How imperative it is to implement still moments into our days. “Be still and know that I am God.”

  16. It continues to baffle me as to how human beings have the need to personify phenomena beyond their scope of comprehension simply in order to “dumb things down” to a level of understanding that is insulting to the concept. Jesys, Yahweh, Allah, Satan, Lord, etc., are all just man made names. God did not create man. Man created God. Attributing our existence and fate to an invented deity with a person’s name that we invented is a ridiculous oversimplification of the universal truth.

  17. This all sounds very Buddhist…the real world is not that which you see before your eyes (though it’s certainly something to contend with) but is what is attained through introspection and meditation and , ultimately enlightenment. Which is presumably when that little bit of God that is within has connected fully with the God without, and the connectedness of all, which is the true reality, becomes apparent. I am not Buddhist, but I do believe God is in all of creation, from a pebble by a river to the river itself. I also believe God is within us, that this is our true self (although the self becomes an unnecessary player when the truth of the connectedness of all i this universe is made apparent). But I am just a seeker; I have no great knowledge of the scriptures of any religion. But that bid of God in me suggests that they are all. Just different ways to describe the same thing. Thank you for following my blog. I hope you find it insightful. All best wishes.

  18. I was surprised that Jesus and the Holy Spirit weren’t mentioned until #7. Let me see the rest and I’ll be waiting or believing they have already come to pass.

  19. God is our true reality, but as we often must interact with those to whom the world is reality it is important to find ways to relate to them without losing our own perspective.

  20. Hi Celia – I love your blog – will follow with interest. With regard to the post (which I love) I would just say that it might beg the question “Can you define ‘threatened’? Also, do you believe the world is to be transcended or embraced? The truth of life is that we do not live in a monastery or a mountain top. That is like learning to fight by watching kung fu movies in your bedroom. In 3 you make an interesting reference to ‘living on purpose’ would you expand on it? In 7 you talk about ‘happy dreams’! Is the purpose of life then to transcend the pain of this world and find an inner tranquilly and happy dreams? In 8 you contradict the opening premise, if there is nothing that is ‘unreal’ it cannot be dropped! Surely. Thought provoking!! Well done

  21. Gorgeous, Celia! I Love You & Your Work. Blessed to be connected to You. Thank You so much for motivating me by liking my WordPress page. Means a lot & am in the deepest Gratitude. God Bless & Have a Divinely Blessed Day.

    Namaste _/|\_& Respect,

  22. Thank you for this beautiful post. “A Course in Miracles” has been sitting on my book shelf for a few months now. I haven’t cracked it open yet, but I am inspired to do so now! I love your selected quotes and your open minded world view.

    1. Eva —

      My current writing is on A Course of Love, which many believe is a continuation of A Course in Miracles. (ACOL says this in its pages.) I do weave together ideas from ACIM as well, though, for I see them as one overarching message from Jesus.

      Love, Celia

  23. There is a poem of mine in which I write: “There is no time–it is a construct of man, who cannot comprehend eternity. There is no space–it is a construct of man, who cannot comprehend infinity.”

    For our Creator–all is eternal.

    For our Creator–all is infinite.

    There is a book written by an anti-religious author, entitled, “The God Delusion.”

    That author has it backward–it is this world which is a shared delusion. It is this world which is unreal.

    It is in our subconscious that we come closest to the real world–the real universe in which neither time nor space exists. This is why, in our dreams, time is totally distorted, and why, in our dreams, space is totally distorted–there is no time or space.

    Not only is our Creator the source of all that exists–but our Creator may well be all that exists.

    For all we know, everything we know is a figment–not of our own imagination–but of our Creator’s.

    All that we know could simply be a dream of our Creator.

  24. You might be interested in reading my book, which contains an essay by a woman who writes about how “The Course in Miracles” helped her get through the Alzheimer’s journey with her husband : “Calmer Waters: The Caregiver’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s & Dementia,” available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold. Peace.

  25. Hello lovely Celia 🙂
    How wonderfully profound your sharing is! Living my truth is a moment by moment choice to pause in the present and BE in full awareness of my guidance… not always easy, but oh my word it’s hugely exciting and down on my knees humbling to witness the extraordinary within the ordinary. Thank you for BE-ing the instrument God used to touch me today.
    Lots of Love & Huge hugs,
    Hayley ❤ ❤ ❤

  26. I will be thinking about your words all night. You have given me much to explore and ponder. You have no Idea how I have been starving for such stimulation. I am always amazed that when the student is ready a teacher will appear. My faith teaches that it takes no faith to believe in what you can see and touch. As a child I remember my father saying time and time again how with eyes we do not see and ears we do not hear. He latter as I became a man told me that what a man does not believe in does not mean anything. Only what he believes he will act on. How much greater is the faith based on what is real and not smoke and mirrors. Thank you for that wonderful memory. I will be paying close attention to you and save your words for a special time so I can be feed. Please keep me posted as I look forward to reading you again. Let me know if your posts are sent via e-mail notification. If not, I will give you mine.

      1. May I call you Celia ? My blog has a Facebook page where I post a few of the things I write. Mostly, I post the work of other authors that I follow and enjoy. I ask permission first and give the author a brief review so the reader can find information they need. I call them my ” huckleberries ” A dead give away to my southern roots. May I expose my readers to your work. It will be quite new to them as it was to me.

  27. It seems that my mission is to share any information that can help others, and I felt this simple phrase very potent and it made utter sense. So, I have posted it to my close friends on FB….
    Thanks for your very interesting site….I shall be reading more.
    Much Love & Blessings
    Sylvia Melaynia xx

  28. Unreal co-arises with real. Human mind co-arises with thought. Categorization is a delightful AND problematic facility of human thought.
    Heuristic ( simplification for the sake of teaching complex thought) : when humanity ate of the apple and was expelled from the garden, humanity became aware of itself as a body and of choices to do with that body. Death arises in humanity’s mind along with conscious awareness of individual breath. Life and death – good and “evil” – to the one who is materially and solidly real. We who are spirit know we recycle through life after life, having one
    tempo-real form after another. ( anchored in the “illusion” of linear time.)
    Awareness of deathly ills to our ecological niche co arises with Earth’s consciousness. Our human existence is “unreal” in so far as we are merely like skin cells or brain cells in a much greater being, like leaves on a tree. Humanity is the cancer which can heal itself or make a lovely interesting boll in the wood that the master carver will shape to a vessel of His choosing. He too is a creation of our human mind, we co-create ourself.
    Divine human is auto poetic, self creating. We are here in peace and love and the attempt to become Butterfly’s wings, to lift consciousness, to fly… We suffer in the cross of awareness. We are the fortunate ones.

  29. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  30. Celia, I experience the real world–that which I see and touch. I believe in a universe of matter and energy, as science teaches us. I also believe in a reality we cannot perceive with the senses, that exists on, for the lack of a better word, a spiritual level. Christianity, which I embrace wholeheartedly, refers to this other world as heaven, but I find that a limited description. Your writings seem to say that pain and suffering are illusions. I submit that pain and suffering should not be explained away, but acknowledged as the byproducts of an imperfect world AND as means to learn about one’s mistakes and shortcomings. To me, the non-existence of pain and suffering is an inadequate description of reality, and so I do not follow A Course in Miracles. Follow your own path, Celia, out of your own free choice… but you won’t see me walking beside you. I invite your reply.

    1. A Course in Miracles does say that there is a course for every teacher of God. So there are many pathways. And all of us teach in our own unique way.

      Love, Celia

  31. Hi Celia. I’ve read with interest your blog having been captured by the title above, with which, I and mainstream Christianity would concur. It puts me in mind of C. S. Lewis’s metaphorical book the Great Divorce actually! Another friend writes of Christ as the Unseen Real.
    I wondered what you felt this path offered you that mainstream Christian thought or maybe, practice, didn’t? Genuine question please don’t mind me! Peace & Grace Wondering Celt

    1. I am Christian, and I was reared with mainstream Christianity. These books offer a particular pathway to Awakening, which mainstream Christianity often doesn’t. To date I have seen glimpses of Awakening, two long-term, but patience is required of me (as of all of us).

      Thank you for asking.

      Love, Celia

  32. I appreciate your true words, and the wonderful reminder ‘Nothing real can be threatened.’ I look forward to reading more posts.

  33. A wonderful message of hope, love, joy and everything else that is real and pervasive, but that we fail to see among all the illusory stuff that fills our lives and our senses. I love your blog. Thank you for stopping by my blog and appreciating my poetry!

  34. What is real can most certainly be threatened, precisely because it is real. That is clearly a lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, threatening to destroy what is real is precisely the threat of God’s judgment. Only what is good and eternal is not under that threat. Herein is eternal life; believing in Jesus Christ and his substitutionary atonement for my sin and, thereby, being born again. For, the real me will be judged for my real sins, but he who believes in Jesus has moved from death to life. “Jesus said … ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’”

  35. This is amazing. These words also remind me of something I read in Charles Haanel that had a profound impact… and led me to believe that “reality” is actually just appearances and what’s real is the ideal. Ideal is connected to creativity and to Source, and that is the ultimate reality. This takes it to a new level. It also inspires me to try A Course In Miracles again. Thank you!

  36. Hi Celia. This post brings up a sticky subject for me – whether our world is reality or an illusion. I have a hard time agreeing with the notion that life on this planet is an illusion. Perhaps the idea is that living in pain, sorrow, and confusion is the illusion – that there is no way out, that we are powerless to change these conditions. That makes sense to me. As for the pain, it certainly feels real, and it can be a real challenge to change that condition. I like to think of life on Planet Earth as real in every way, and that we can change any negative condition by deciding to. From there we find the way. To me, it’s all reality. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on the unreality thing. It certainly is a popular notion. Thanks for this post.

    1. I think our reality is an idea in the Mind of God. That does not mean an “illusion,” but something that is not slowed down energy, which is what I think matter is.

      Love, Celia

  37. Plato’s philosophy was wrong when he espoused in in ancient Greece and is still incorrect. The Creator made everything that exists, including the intangibles. John 1:1-5 –
    The perversion of anything He made is sin: e.g. love perverted becomes lust; desire for good things becomes greed, love for His world becomes destructive abuse of it.
    But the things in this world will continue existing until He remakes the Creation. Revelation 21.
    But He WILL make another earth that will be as real as this one.
    Plato’s philosophy appeals to the sensuous, but does not work in the “real world” where we have to eat, sleep and love our neighbor.

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