“The real world is the state of mind in which the only purpose of the world is seen to be forgiveness. (T-30.V.1)”
1 – Forgiveness Reigns
So here, nestled in among other gems of inspiration and knowledge, is the definition of the real world: a state of mind in which forgiveness reigns. This would mean that we have come home to God, that we have finally ended the reign of the ego. Elsewhere we learn that the real world dawns on our sight, and then, in a short while (but how long this period of time is is not defined) God Himself reaches down (metaphorically) and lifts us up to Awakening. Awakening is the same concept as Christ-consciousness, the term used in A Course of Love, as well as the same concept in Eastern religions of enlightenment.
2 – Holy Relationship with Our Brother
The means of finding our way back to God through our holy relationship to our brother is the particular way of A Course in Miracles. We are told in ACIM that this means saves us time, that we do not need to spend long hours in contemplation (though contemplation will succeed as well, because of its purpose). Jesus is keen on saving time, as he warns that the world is very old and weary, worn out and tired. We ourselves may feel this way sometimes. Or maybe we have moved past this feeling of tiredness in the world as we move closer to the Holy Spirit in daily life.
3 – Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit will in fact save us from much weariness. He paces our day with His guidance, and He shows us how to rest.
4 – Forgive, and Then Understand
“The value of forgiveness is perceived and takes the place of idols, which are sought no longer, for their ‘gifts’ are not held dear. No rules are idly set, and no demands are made of anyone or anything to twist and fit into the dream of fear. Instead there is a wish to understand all things created as they really are. And it is recognized that all things must be first forgiven, and then understood. (T-30.V.1)”
I ran across a passage, before ACIM was written, that recommended that we forgive, and then we will come to understand. I kept this admonition on an index card for a long time; indeed, I may still have it in my files. Certainly ACIM agrees with this recommendation. The words are the same in the above passage.
5 – Idols
We do not want idols, and perhaps most of us have had many over the years. Most particular may be our special relationships, the ones that haven’t turned holy. We want a particular individual romantically, but we are still entrapped by the ego, and what we see in him/her is only a false gem, a persona, not the real person at all. We are projecting onto that person the characteristics that we ourselves would like to have. And the heights of joy fall into the depths of despair—the way of the ego. So special relationships do not hold value for long.
6 – Materialism
Likewise, many of us may have wanted security in this world in the form of material advantages. But we can never have enough money to be secure, and paradoxically, the more we have, the more uncertain we are about being able to keep it. So even though we long for objects of this world, we cannot be happy with them for very long. They do not satisfy, for only the emotions of joy, love, harmonious living, can satisfy for long. These long-lasting emotions are of God, for He is our real Hope. We will never be satisfied for anything very long that is not in some way an attribute of God.
7 – Simple Course
“This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. (T-11.VIII.1)”
This passage is forward-thinking and recognizes that we are still on the pathway to the real world, though we may catch glimpses of it ahead of time. What is true? Reality. What does this mean, for truth can be very subjective, can be based on falsities, and may lead us down a pathway that is not actually true for anybody but ourselves. Truth is a God-granted certainty about the world and our place in it.
8 – Definition of the Truth
I once worked for an afternoon for a man who needed some editing done for a newspaper article that he hoped to publish. His was a fanatical view of the world, and emphasized in the article, over and over, was his insistence in only seeing the “truth.” I realized that afternoon that truth could be a very subjective concept, for this man’s truth and my own were very, very different. Radical political views are usually perceived by their holders as being “true,” but many people may not hold these views. There is a wide range of views about politics, religion, and the like. That is why we are bade never to discuss politics and religion at a dinner party or other social occasion. The differences in our personalities are so obvious, and the egos of us all do love a good argument.
9 – One Way Is Not Way for All
So here in ACIM we still must realize that the truth that it develops is not the truth for everyone. Some will violently object to what others embrace. Our way to salvation is not the way of all, and thus it behooves us to walk softly.
10 – Real World Will Vanish
“Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. And then everything you made will be forgotten; the good and the bad, the false and the true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. (T-11.VIII.1)”
This is a passage not easily understood. It seems to be far in the future, but perhaps that is only true for this world and the people still living in it. Gradually, one by one, we will make our way beyond this world. We need not fear the end of the world. It will end in stillness, not to be touched, but simply to fail to be (from the Manual of ACIM). This is Jesus’s great promise. We do not have to fear violent destruction of this world.
11 – Translation into Heaven
“The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge. (T-11.VIII.1)”
A particularly potent quotation, this passage points out that destruction is not in the future of this world. It will be translated into Heaven. And this translation will happen when we do not have to perceive, but we know. Knowledge is of the Holy Spirit, and He alone knows how to give it to us. (A Course of Love indicates that the inner Christ Self performs this translation for us.)
12 – Our Inheritance
May we come to know internally how to reach God. We are a part of Him. He is in us, as well as in our brothers and sisters. The universe is his “body,” so to speak (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL). The knowledge we seek is our inheritance. May we ask today that it be granted us in spades.
May this day I move closer to the real world. May this transition happen seamlessly, as I do not wish to be hurled into reality and frightened thereby. The real world is seen before Awakening, before God takes us unto Himself in enlightenment. May I experience the real world, the state of mind that knows only forgiveness of my brother and sister.
The real world is a concept that we often overlook. As a state of mind, it can come to us in snatches before the real world is sustained. May I walk quietly and serenely toward that blessing today.