“[Miracles] thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity. (T5)”
1 – The Return of Sanity
The restoration of our sanity is the great need of all humankind. It is not sanity as perceived by the world (which is a concept in emotional disturbance), but sanity as perceived by the Awakening. We are indicated in A Course in Miracles to be living with a mad mind, and that includes all of us who have not yet walked the full pathway back to God. Along the way, we probably will experience glimpses of Awakening, but they will not last beyond even a few moments, a few weeks, or a few months. A Course of Love, which some view as a sequel to ACIM, indicates that we are to sustain, physical form, our acceptance of Atonement, which will lead to Awakening. Nowhere in either set of volumes is Awakening fully defined, but we can surmise that it is the state of Enlightenment, which many other religions have championed as well. It is less noted in traditional Christianity, which tends to stop with a specific moment of the experience of being “saved.” There is some emphasis in moving onward to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and this is the way of ACIM. Miracles will bring these great events closer in time.
2 – Lost in Nightmares
We have indeed been lost in nightmares. We have been made mad by guilt (an ACIM concept). Happy dreams will arrive as soon as we let the miracles replace our madness. And the real world, according to ACIM, will arrive soon afterwards. Then it is only a brief moment in time before God Himself will take the last step, the Awakening. This is not something that we can effect ourselves.
3 – Time for God and Ourselves
It is wise always to remember that God’s time and our time are not identical, and so we do not know (because it is not said in ACIM) what “soon” really means. How long to we await the Awakening after we have recognized that we are seeing the “real world.” Even the “real world” is not defined precisely in ACIM, but I have interpreted this boon as a time in which we experience the loving attributes of salvation: love, joy, peace, tranquility, serenity, happiness, forgiveness of ourselves and others.
4 – Nightmares and Illusions
“Nightmares” and “illusions” are linked in this passage. May we reach toward the promise of sanity in the real world when we give up our illusions, and, with them, our nightmares. Fear will subside, and in calm and quiet we will live in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This guidance will continue until after Awakening, called “Christ-consciousness” is A Course of Love. We are then to know internally of the way in which we are to travel. The time of Christ follows the time of the Holy Spirit (according to A Course of Love). This is a natural transition, but not one for which all of us ready. We must be patient, and, until the time of learning is over, listen to our guidance from our Guide, and then we will be swept up in the knowledge that our real Self, the Christ within, will give us. (These are tenets from A Course of Love.)
I would live in the real world today. I would no longer be lost in illusions. I ask for the blessing of the return of sanity, in the sense that A Course in Miracles means. Virtually all of us have been lost in madness. Some have had fleeting glimpses of the Awakening, but few have sustained the Awakening. I do realize that this is a blessing that You will offer all of us when we are ready. And I ask for my Guide to tell me what to think, say, and do today that will prepare me for this blessing.
Be with me if I get discouraged. Life does not have to be difficult, even when outward circumstances seem so. You are there to comfort and to sustain us.
May I never forget this. May I never forget to turn to You.