The Altar in Our Minds Is the Only Reality

“To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it. As long as you believe you can attend to what is not true, you are accepting conflict as your choice. Is it really a choice? It seems to be, but seeming and reality are hardly the same. You who are the Kingdom are not concerned with seeming. Reality is yours because you are reality. This is how having and being are ultimately reconciled, not in the Kingdom, but in your mind. The altar there is the only reality.” (ACIM, T-7.III.4)

The altar in our minds is the true reality. We are not concerned any longer with “seeming” to know reality; we do know reality. We both have and we are—what we are being is consistent with our having the Kingdom of God.

This is deep understanding, and it is hard to recognize on first reading. When we wish to be in the Kingdom, we can focus our full attention upon it, and when we do that, we are no longer “seeming” to know reality, but we are truly knowing reality. Attention, mindfulness, is a way home, a way to salvation, and, ultimately, a way to Awakening, or enlightenment.

What we are in our essence, in the inner altar of our minds, is reality. Nothing else really exists. There is no world, according to Jesus in A Course in Miracles. It is purely and simply illusion, projected from our minds outward in a world, as well, of illusory bodies. Of course, everything seems solid, but that is simply part of the illusion. Projection makes perception, as Jesus also says.

Many of us do not accept that the world is not real. But if we come to see that it is, we are immediately freed from its effects. We realize that there is nothing in an illusion that can ultimately hurt us, and so we stop being defensive.

Jesus also encourages us to avoid defense, saying that it makes what we are trying to avoid.

So there is nothing in this world that can hurt us in any real sense. We see blood in the illusion, but it is not unlike catsup in a movie. We are never ultimately harmed. The only real thing is the state of our mind and heart, the inner altar that is also the home of God.

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3 thoughts on “The Altar in Our Minds Is the Only Reality

  1. The truths shared here are very profound and difficult to navigate. I have found one true test of my understanding that I use to determine whether I am on track or not; that is, I ask myself — does this teaching allow me to be callous over the suffering I witness in the world around me? If it does I know that the profound nature of the teaching is being co-opted by the Ego.
    However, when I ask myself — does this teaching help me to detach from my own desires, comforts and addictions and the answer is yes then I know I am on the right path. To focus exclusively on God, on Love, is a matter of profound realization not about the illusory nature of the world but of the illusory nature of the egoic mind.

  2. I loved this!

    Truly, it is difficult for anyone in the world to accept there is no world! Jesus also says elsewhere that the inner altar is not a place, it is our devotions – what we are devoted TO (T-5.II.8:7). We have but two choices to direct our devotions to: God (Truth, Reality, Kingdom, Unity, Peace, Love, etc.) or the ego (illusions, dreams, the world, separation, war, fear, etc.). To those who live in the world, the ego has laid its gifts on our inner altar and we are devoted to those gifts. We worship the god of illusions.

    Yet, Jesus says the illusions have not changed Reality, which is the Kingdom of God. God has dominion over the Kingdom because He is the Author of Reality. The ego, which believes it has usurped God’s role, is the lord of illusions and seeks dominion over the world (this was even granted to Adam and Eve by God in the Biblical creation story: “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'”

    Elsewhere in the Course, he says that the Kingdom is JOY (T-7.XI.1:1-2). That is, our experience of the Kingdom is one filled with and marked by a feeling of joy. The Truth Jesus came to tell each of us is that our altar has not been defiled by the gifts of the ego (sin, guilt, fear), which have no effect. They but occupy our attention and devotion for a time. The Kingdom still exists, it is still pure and Holy, still infinite and eternal, because our “sins” have no effect.

    As you know, our wills are divided and our attention to the Truth is shaky – thus, we are always in conflict. Our devotion rests in ego. However, Jesus says that if we work to focus our full attention to seeing the Kingdom, it will be known because it alone is real. But because we still believe there are other valuable things to attend to, we find ourselves “outside the Gates”, in conflict, wondering with doubt, and feeling lost.

    God bless!

  3. The world is not real in the sense that it is not Absolute, Eternal and Unchanging. We experience the world as real however because we are living within this reality where all things are relative, impermanent, and constantly changing. This includes our physical being. Similar teachings are found within Buddhism.

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