The world is a series of images made by that which is incapable of accurately perceiving reality. It is impossible for us to be happy in the world because the world is not real but also because the mind which made it is unhealed. It has no idea what is actually going on.
The fact that I see a world in which there is suffering and loss and death shows me that I am seeing only the representation of my insane thoughts, and am not allowing my real thoughts to cast their beneficent light on what I see. Yet God’s way is sure (W-pI.53.5:4-5).
Because we have forgotten what we are in truth, we have forgotten how to use the creative power of our shared mind. It’s like we’re a single leaf trying to pretend it’s the whole tree. It can’t work because it’s not true.
What is producing this world is insane, and so is what is produces. Reality is not insane, and I have real thoughts as well as insane ones (W-pI.53.1:3-4).
The promise A Course in Miracles makes is that despite the mistaken identity and fearful world, and despite the intensity of the suffering that attends it, we have not lost our actual identity. Reality remains unchanged and unaffected by our confusion. A single leaf can say and do whatever it likes in its vain attempts to “be” a tree but it cannot destroy the tree of which it is a part.
So there is a way out of madness. We need not despair. We have made the world and the self and we believe they are real because we made them. Yet we can always make another choice, one that arises in love and reaffirms love as our source.
. . . I place my trust in reality. In choosing this, I will escape all the effects of the world of fear, because I am acknowledging that it does not exist (W-pI.53.3:7-8).
This shift is not like throwing a light switch (though technically it can be). It’s more like a gentle evolution unfolding in time. We see a little light, step towards it and . . . turn back to the darkness of guilt and fear.
And then start again.
This is the path that we follow as ACIM students. It’s not a crisis. The lessons are gentle reminders that our work is simply to our best to remember – moment by moment – that God did not create a meaningless world and so our suffering is entirely optional.
This is good news! The more so because it actually works when brought into application. Our journey through the workbook is a journey from darkness to light, from guilt to grace, and from fear to love. We want no other journey and no other journey becomes us. No other journey leads us home because this journey is our home.