I've come up with a new model of ACIM which promises to resolve numerous contradictions and potentially unite the two major camps: those who believe they can experience heaven while in the dream, and those who believe heaven is elsewhere.
In this model, think of "the world you made" as a room with no windows, like a prison cell. You are currently in the room, perceiving the inside walls of the room. This is "false perception". Everything inside that room is false. "The world is false perception." You are blinded by perception of form and cannot see past the walls.
As you develop true perception, the walls start to become TRANSPARENT, and you start to see BEYOND them. You are IN the world, SEEING THROUGH IT, to something OUTSIDE it. This is what it means to OVERLOOK ie forgive the world. By forgiving the FALSE world, you become able to SEE the TRUE world. The true world is Heaven. Heaven is outside of the room. But you can SEE IT, from inside the room, using perception. True perception/christ vision is CAPABLE OF SEEING REALITY.
This is backed up by statements such as "God is in everything I see", that you can "see the son of God", having a "vision of God", "see the face of Christ", etc. To be able to SEE these things, you MUST be seeing reality directly with perception. Which means you are inside the dream, peering OUTSIDE OF IT from the inside out.
This also entails a major adjustment to older models. "The real world" is a synonym for HEAVEN. It is correctly labelled as REAL because it is real. When you PERCEIVE "the real world" you are literally perceiving heaven. This is also backed up by statements saying it is only possible to SEE what REALLY EXISTS, which MUST mean it is reality you are seeing.
Perception CAN SEE REALITY. But you have to also remember that "perception is a separated state". Therefore perception is happening FROM INSIDE the dream of separation, LOOKING AT WHAT'S OUTSIDE OF IT. When you are NOT blinded by the WALLS of the dream world, you have true perception. When you cannot see PAST the illusions of form, you have false perception.
We also have to remember a couple of key facts.
1. Perception of the truth is not the same as knowledge. That means you can perceive heaven, but this perception is kind of an "image" of heaven. A vision. This perception is not the same thing as being IN heaven. It is not cognition or knowledge or certainty or communion. But, it's kind of like window shopping. You are on the street (in the false physical world of false perception), looking through the window of the Kingdom of God (overlooking the world, forgiving the world, seeing beyond the veil), and are looking INTO or AT the contents of the Kingdom (seeing the face of Christ).
2. It is necessary to still accept that the FALSE world IS AN ILLUSION. The physical world. "The world of bodies is the world of sin" "The world you see is an illusion of a world, God did not create it" "The world will spin into the nothingness from which it came" "There is no world" etc are all STILL TRUE of this world of forms, bodies, planets. "The world is false perception" means that if you LOOK AT THIS WORLD, you are having false perception. And that means you have to LOOK AWAY FROM this world, and look AT HEAVEN.
This is also totally backed up by statements about not being able to see two worlds. There ARE two worlds. Heaven/reality, and the illusory world. Sight of one costs you sight of the other because they deny each other. This does not mean TWO VIEWS OF THIS WORLD. It means if you see this world in ANY way you are having false perception, and sight of THIS world is costing you sight OF HEAVEN. Heaven is ANOTHER WORLD. And in order for this world to disappear from your sight, heaven must BECOME VISIBLE.
This is also totally backed up by the fact that The Holy Spirit loves to LOOK UPON CHRIST. He is using PERCEPTION, to look AT CHRIST. Christ in IN HEAVEN! The Holy Spirit is having true perception OF CHRIST IN HEAVEN. That proves that true perception MUST be capable of breaking out of the physical world, looking beyond the veil of forms (wall of sin), and must be cable of looking direct AT REALITY. At Christ. Who is in heaven.
There are a number of statements in the course which previously alluded to being able to perceive holiness, reality, christ, god etc from INSIDE the dream. And some people latched on this since it correlated to their experience and much of what happens in the workbook, and it SEEMED to imply that God must somehow be able to be SEEN from within this world. There is validity in those statements (e.g. God is in everything I see etc), BUT the conclusion drawn from that is a polarized ego conclusion based on thinking of THE ROOM (the world you made) as being REAL. AS if to say, perception ABOUT the inside of the room can change from false to true, in order to try to make sense of the seeming references to SEEING real stuff. But that was a false conclusion based on exclusive boxes.
Also in the old models people often thought of "the real world" as a reference to some kind of in-between state, still illusory (thus inappropriately named) and NOT the same thing as reality itself. I suggest that is wrong, and that HEAVEN is a the actual "real world". When we have perceptions OF "the real world", we are seeing HEAVEN ITSELF. We are looking OUTSIDE OF the dream, from the inside. This is also backed up by the fact there is a quote about the real world which speaks of there being no bodies, no streets and stores, no day and night (no sun) etc... which is accurate of HEAVEN. The IMAGE of the real world that perception SEES, is SEEING heaven, and the IMAGE is an illusion, but the world it is looking AT is reality!
This is also then helps us to see that not only can you LOOK OUTSIDE OF THE DREAM from the inside, but also the LIGHT OF HEAVEN can shine INTO or upon the dream from the outside in. And that TOO is backed up by various quotes. Heaven is spread across the world but you do not see it etc. The world seems to become holy. You shine your light upon the world by "reflecting it here" within yourself, etc. Because the CEILING on top of the room, is only SOLID when you have false perception. The ceiling becomes TRANSPARENT when you have true perception, allowing you to SEE OUT (like a window onto reality), AND allowing the light to PENETRATE the world. This is part of how "eternity will shine away the world." When we think of the separation between heaven and earth as SOLID we arrive at a false conclusion that you cannot experience God AT ALL in the world, which is incorrect.
A forgiven world, similarly, must be correctly understood. "To forgive is to overlook" Overlooking THE FALSE WORLD, "the world is false perception", means overlooking the PHYSICAL WORLD, overlooking bodies ("you're brother's reality is beyond his body"), "forgiveness does not look upon bodies" etc... and therefore to FORGIVE the world, does not mean keep LOOKING AT IT in a more loving way. It means to OVERLOOK it, see PAST it, and LOOK AT HEAVEN. The reality of heaven is what true perception (spiritual sight) sees. It is a perception of SPIRIT. And this means the physical veil of illusions, wall of sin, wall of flesh etc all has to VANISH from your sight. This happens when you SEE CHRIST (face of christ). The world is FORGOTTEN.
That's what it means to forgive the world. It means to RECOGNIZE the WORLD IS FALSE. And to put ALL of your attention ON REALITY. To look AT reality, bypassing this world and seeing the truth which is BEYOND IT. And that means what you are "falling in love with" as you wake up, isn't the FALSE world, it's HEAVEN! You are starting to become able to SEE REALITY, and it is WHERE the beauty, light, and love are. Your ability to SEE IT, "in" the world, overlaid on the world, is what makes the world seem lovely. But it is HEAVEN that you are in love with, not an illusory world of forms. Proven here:
"God's teachers choose to look on dreams a while (the false world/physical world)...The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are?...Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God's teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die.Yet they are ***not deceived by what they see*** (not tempted, not believing in the world)....Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God's teachers acknowledge as ***behind the dream***, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs."
Unity, is reality. Unity, is heaven. Unity is the ACTUALLY REAL WORLD of Heaven. The Kingdom of God. Which is BEHIND the dream world. The dream world is FALSE, as in there is no world. EVERYTHING in the physical world is false. It is all illusion. You are not supposed to try to make it real and keep it and dress it up and turn it into heaven. It is a veil of illusions. It is NOTHING. You are meant to learn to STOP BEING DISTRACTED BY IT, and LOOK AT SOMETHING ELSE. Look at ANOTHER WORLD entirely. You are in THIS world, and have to learn to SEE ANOTHER WORLD BEYOND IT.
So the model is quite simple. You're in a seemingly solid room with no windows. You gradually learn to LOOK THROUGH THE WALLS, and start to see ANOTHER WORLD outside of the room. When the walls become totally transparent you will SEE CHRIST and will SEE GOD "in" everything you see (beyond it, not hidden by it), and then ..... when you are ready, you will GET OUT OF THE ROOM. Leaving the room is what takes you BEYOND THE WALLS, and immerses you directly in the REAL WORLD OF HEAVEN that you were SEEING WITH PERCEPTION prior to awakening. You first window shop and SEE reality, then you go BE IN IT. "Gone is perception". And of course there is no real "going" because you simply realize YOU ARE EVERYWHERE and have always BEEN in heaven, and THE ROOM DOES NOT EXIST. The world is gone, reality is your home.
I believe this far more accurately encapsulates what ACIM is saying. I believe there is not one single quote which speaks against this from any perspective. Especially, this BRINGS HEAVEN CLOSER to those who are IN the dream (room), because it means even while you are dreaming, you can to some degree EXPERIENCE heaven through perception. You can SEE HEAVEN while in a body. BUT.... if you want to be totally immersed in it, you have to leave the body, leave the false world, leave the room, and become expanded everywhere. "Heaven is the dwelling place of the son of God." "There is no world."
It still accounts for the two levels which are Reality and Unreality, true and false, light and dark, heaven and hell, God's world and the world you made. These ARE the two levels, not "two ways to perceive a false world." It still incorporates all aspects of perceiving in recognizing that false perception is an inability to see past walls, while true perception overlooks walls and sees what is beyond them. It supports everything said about the ability to SEE REAL STUFF. "Perception can reach everywhere under the guidance of the holy spirit" (even to reality).
It also supports the EXPERIENCES people have had (me included) IN this world such as having visions of God, seeing Christ in others, SEEING love everywhere, etc. AND it still supports the larger model that we are to WAKE UP FROM some kind of dream world to a reality that were were becoming gradually aware of prior to awakening. You can essentially PERCEIVE or "perceptually experience" reality while in a body in this world. BUT if you want the TOTAL communion with God, knowledge, absolute wakening, total reality, WITHOUT perception (because "those who perceive still need healing"), you have to TRANSCEND THE ROOM, and wake up in infinite reality. "Nothing seen, only know." Because then, you no longer have perception, nor do you need it.
Have a think about it. Open your mind. Put aside "traditional" ACIM models. Consider this. I think it unites the two camps quite a lot and it also is wholly inclusive of ALL ACIM STATEMENTS, something which could not be said for the older models. It has to be possible to SEE reality (God/Christ). It HAS to be possible to see what is ACTUALLY the REAL world (heaven). And it HAS to be possible that the world of false perception disappear when ANOTHER world becomes visible. And it has to be possible that there IS another world entirely BEYOND the one that false perception sees. And that means the world you see with true perception is BEYOND this world. It is heaven. It is the Kingdom of God. And "you cannot remain in this world (false world), with this knowledge."
I know this shakes up a LOT of what people have become accustomed to thinking. And I've had to let go of many of my own conclusions in order to get to this. I had made adjustments, justifications, and false conclusions in order to try to make things "fit" before and I see now where that was flawed because it omitted too many quotes and ways of perceiving love and reality while still in a body. I encourage everyone to think about this and see if you feel that it fits and works for you. If not, that's fine. But for me I feel this is the most accurate model of the course I've ever seen. It is so clear-cut and makes so much sense and supports everything.