"First…thank you so much for all that you are (un)doing and sharing your awesome insights on ACIM. I really feel you are the next ‘level’ in terms of having a super clear understanding of what Jesus is saying in the Course. Blessings and love to you!
I am interested in your understanding of what the Course calls the Real World. I understand as of now that when all the seeming separated Sons have forgiven the world, and see it through the eyes of the Holy Spirit/Forgiveness/Love, and are in the ‘right mind’ there is an instant where ‘we’ all see the world as forgiven and then it disappears because God has taken the last step.
I also understand that each Son must come to this point ‘in time’ before this ‘grand finale’ seems to happen and that this is accomplished by seeing only the reflection of love in each separated piece of the Sonship.
If you could expand on this process that would be great and thank you so much!"
The way you have described it seems to be exactly the same way that I "learned" it from the Course and I don't see anything incorrect with your summary.
Let's see how Jesus describes the "forgiven world":
"Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you? In no fantasy have you ever seen anything so lovely. Nothing you see here, sleeping or waking, comes near to such loveliness. And nothing will you value like unto this, nor hold so dear. Nothing that you remember that made your heart seem to sing with joy has ever brought you even a little part of the happiness this sight will bring you. For you will see the Son of God. You will behold the beauty which the Holy Spirit loves to look upon, and which He thanks the Father for. He was created to see this for YOU, until you learn to see it for yourself. And all His teaching leads to seeing it and giving thanks with Him.
This loveliness is NOT a fantasy. It is the real world, bright and clean and new, with everything sparkling under the open sun. Nothing is hidden here, for everything has been forgiven, and there are no fantasies to hide the truth. The bridge between that world and this is so little and so easy to cross that you could not believe it is the meeting place of worlds so different. Yet this little bridge is the strongest thing that touches on this world at all. This little step, so small it has escaped your notice, is a stride through time into eternity, and beyond all ugliness into beauty that will enchant you, and will never cease to cause you wonderment at its perfection."
I must first tell you that I am not personally experiencing the forgiven world yet, so I cannot speak with authority. I can only share my present interpretation. I apologize if I am mis-teaching on this. Tackling this topic may be educational for me also.
First of all, let's talk about forgiveness. Forgiveness overlooks illusions and does not become fixated on forms or appearances. When the mind has blocks to awareness in it, it can't really "see" all the way. Its sight stops when it hits the block, which is content in the mind, which is hallucinated as being outside of the mind in the world.
With blocks in the mind, you will see an "unforgiven world" because you have not forgiven yourself. This makes the world seem ugly and unwanted and unlovable and depressing and hopeless. When you see the unforgiven world, you will see your own guilt projected, and won't see Christ. Thus you will believe that you're seeing objectively and that the world therefore is inherently evil and ugly.
IF the word were real, and IF what you were perceiving is reality, then yes indeed the world would be an ugly sight. Believing your own projected perception of ugliness, which is your opinion of yourself, and particularly because your perception has a lot of separation in it, you will disassociate from yourself and believe that the separate external "not me" world is objectively there. Like it's not part of you and exists on its own.
Because you then think it is concretely self-evident, existing in this ugly manner with or without you, you don't realize that the WAY you are experiencing the world is making the world appear ugly. You just assume the world is ugly because that's what you see and don't recognize how your mind is actually filtering it, contributing to its appearance, interpreting it with hate, and is not showing you all of what is there. Your mind is in the dark and so sees darkness in the world and therefore the world appears to be a dark, depressing place.
When the mind forgives its own Self, i.e. its belief in illusions being real, and the blocks to awareness are removed, "Light" returns to the mind. Light means the ability to SEE because there are no blockages. I always think of this in terms of there initially being deep valleys and high mountains and so you cannot see far but as the duality is erased the valleys and mountains flatten out and then you can see much further. With nothing obscuring your vision, you see "beyond" or "overlook" the obstacles that used to be there.
Remember also with forgiveness that it has a proactive component, in that a FORGIVING mind sees forgivingly, and because it is being forgiving, it does not MAKE errors in perception. It does not invent illusions and it does not become deluded. A forgiving mind does not create the errors that it would witness, and then have to go spend time "undoing" those errors through some purification process. A forgiving mind sees that there IS nothing to forgive, because that mind has a very deeply forgiving attitude.
So what does it mean to be forgiving. It means to see clearly, to accept the atonement, to recognize that an illusion is an illusion and not a reality, to not enter into judgement, to not make illusions real or believe in them, to have no ego, to see no real sin or real guilt anywhere, and to acknowledge your true identity as Christ. This all happens inside of your mind. But remember, your mind is HUGE and the physical universe is INSIDE of it.
A forgiving mind is capable of RECOGNIZING Christ, because it has recognized that illusions are illusions and not realities. It overlooks illusions to the True Face of Innocence of Christ, which Holy Spirit sees also and "loves to look upon". That face, not the form of a face but a vast omnipresent expanse of being, can be witnessed by a mind which, itself, has become identified with Christ. In other words, a mind that has achieved true forgiveness, perfect atonement, and is aware of its true identity.
As within, so without. Therefore that mind will seem to "see" ONLY Christ as truth, and anything else which is not Christ will be recognized as NOT REAL.
The impression I get from the paragraphs is that, therefore, "the real world" actually refers to recognizing that Christ is real, which must entail recognizing that the physical world and the entire physical universe - which is an illusory device for separation - is NOT real at all. That kind of vision must be able to see and believe and know and experience that there is a "reality" beyond the illusion.
I also get the impression that when you get to the point of seeing this, you will still possibly be aware that the illusion seems to be there, AS an illusion, but you see it so clearly and correctly for what it is that you see that in and of itself it is not real. In and of itself, the physical world is recognized as an illusion of a world, which was covering up reality.
The world, in a sense, will become "transparent" as far as your awareness and ability to see is concerned, you will see "through" it and past it, and therefore become able to see Christ. It may appear that Christ is IN it. And remember the lesson, "God is in everything I see because God is in my mind". But realize that God isn't an illusion and God isn't the world and God did not create the physical world, you did. And reality has no form.
So if you are seeing the real world, with true perception, you are seeing a glimpse of reality sort of from outside of reality. On the one side there is this illusion which seemed real, and on the other there is a reality which is not of this world at all - Heaven. And between them there seems to be this "bridge" across which you can cross. That means moving from True Perception to Vision or Awareness, and then becoming aware of Heaven.
Jesus goes on to refer to this little step across the bridge: "This little step, so small it has escaped your notice, is a stride through time into eternity, and beyond all ugliness into beauty that will enchant you". Here, Jesus just got done telling us that we would be looking upon a real world so incredibly beautiful the likes of which we have never seen before, AND YET, in the very next sentence tells us that we are about to NOW leave behind "all ugliness", entering into a beauty that will enchant us.
To me this refers to the notion that upon seeing the real world, the "real world" is NOT the illusion that is being left behind, but the world, or, face of Christ, which is seen BEYOND the physical world/illusion, as a matter of OVERLOOKING the ugliness of the world. God is beautiful indeed, but the world really is not. It is only what it is, and it is nothing more than it is. Just an illusion of forms and shapes and people and things.
Remember also Jesus said that your forgiven brother would appear to be beautiful to you. Clearly you must therefore be overlooking his FORM, to see the Christ within Him, which is beyond the illusion or "image of a body" that He is presenting to you. That form is not who He is because He is not a body. So to truly see "Him" you must be seeing something far subtler and more transcendental than to just look at his physical body and think that it is God, or Reality, or beautiful in its own right.
Beauty is seen "beyond" the illusion. And Jesus says that we move INTO a beauty, the real and full experience of the real world, when we move beyond the illusion on the other side of the bridge. The "world of God" is far more beautiful and awe-inspiring than our planet Earth.
Recall also that elsewhere Jesus describes the world in no uncertain terms and in not particularly attractive terms, such as that it is a barren desert where starved and thirsty creatures come to die. He speaks of how at no time does the body exist, and how there is no world at all. How can something truly REAL not exist? This is really the crux of the matter.
IF the physical world is real, then it cannot disappear, it cannot change, it cannot transform, it cannot be overlooked, it cannot be forgiven, it cannot be undone, it cannot get out of the way to allow sight of God, and it is a permanent prison. Whenever we equate "reality" with something, that's what we're saying. That it has the properties of reality.
The world can't be real if it is to disappear. The world can't be real if the Course is teaching us that there is no world here. The world also can't therefore be "inherently beautiful" because only reality is inherently beautiful.
Now, I might be just convincing myself of what I want to believe, or I might be spot on. I cannot tell you for sure right now. But this is where my mind is heading on this topic. I believe the "real world" is really the face of Christ seen beyond all forms, which you become able to see IN SPITE OF forms and appearances and physical matter, because you become able to SEE THROUGH those things via forgiveness.
I also see this as correlating to how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit's vision, which is that as you see the forgiven/real world, you are looking upon what Holy Spirit sees, which is the face of Christ. Remember that Holy Spirit is fixated on Heaven, but simultaneously has the ability to perceive the illusion (without believing in it at all).
HE is able to see the "real world", i.e. Christ. If that real world is on the level of perception, then perhaps it refers to the ability to see from the very most outside edge of the illusion without being "IN" it, and yet still perceiving it, yet overlooking it. Therefore a perfectly true perception doesn't fixate on forms or believe or perceive them as real, but sees it more as just a transparent idea that isn't real.
When we then let go of the "ugliness" i.e. the physical world of form, we move into the pure awareness of God, which is TRULY beautiful.
Jesus has already done this. He has already woken up as Christ and crossed the bridge and is fully at One with God as God's Son. He has moved beyond the Sonship or the idea of individuated sons. He has transcended time, so describing how that's possible "now" while the rest of us are still sleeping is not very easy.
But yes, when every Son of God has come to see HIMSELF as fully forgiven, recognizing that He is EVERYWHERE, and that there is no separation in Him, and that illusions are just illusions, not only will the bodies disappear but so will the entirety of the physical universe. This IS going to happen at some point in the future. This is why Gary Renard's book was first titled "The Disappearance of the Universe", which I recommend for any Course student to read, particularly newcomers.
Jesus says that when illusions are recognized as illusions they must disappear. When what you valued no longer is seen as having any value or merit, it must disappear. When you stop believing that an illusion is reality, it must disappear. When you no longer need an illusion to defend you against the truth, it must disappear.
The physical universe is a symptom of separation in the mind of the Son of God. It is a sickness. It is a defense against God. It is the manifestational, illusional expression of the mind's IDEA of being separate. It is not really physical matter, it is thought. It's an idea that has not left its source in the grand mind. This idea will disappear when people stop dreaming it. When we all finally see the world for what it is, an illusion that isn't real, and recognize Christ for the reality that We Are, the universe will disappear entirely.
I cannot recall if the Course itself says this, but I believe there will be a tremendous bright white light, so much light will be seen that all illusions of forms will disappear, the light will be so penetrating and so immersive, in between all particles and space and matter and throughout it, that all of the physical universe's limitations and physicality will "dissolve", all of its littleness will "expand", and all of its content will become unified.
There will be so much light and presence that it will SHINE AWAY the entire illusion, and the entire physical universe will disappear in this light, leaving only the light. I think this is what the Course refers to as the final step that God will take... that He will SHINE so brightly "into" and beyond this apparent world that it will disappear into infinite light, and there will simply be love everywhere with nothing to block it.
What this also implies is that we as miracle workers are to be part of the shining away of this universe, with our light which we extend from God, by the power of miracles which undo illusions, and that the disappearance of the universe will be one giant massive miracle which completely cancels the physical universe once and for all. And this is why we must bring our miracle-working light "into" this world, to heal the mind of the Son of God. Or if you prefer, we are to bring this illusion to the light so that it will disappear in the light, by using the light to dispel it.
Here's what the Course says about the end of the universe: "Yet what you see is only what you made, with the blessing of your forgiveness on it. And with this final blessing of God's Son upon himself, the real perception, born of the new perspective he has learned, has served its purpose. The stars will disappear in light, and the sun that opened up the world to beauty will vanish. Perception will be meaningless when it has been perfected, for everything that has been used for learning will have no function. Nothing will ever change; no shifts nor shadings, no differences, no variations that made perception possible will still occur. The perception of the real world will be so short that you will barely have time to thank God for it. For God will take the last step swiftly, when you have reached the real world and have been made ready for Him."
Note it speaks of "the stars will disappear in light"... which correlates with what I said about everything disappearing into a bright light. This section also somewhat clarifies that the real world is the illusory world seen with forgiving eyes. I'm not really sure why Jesus uses the word "real" because it is confusing, and seems to me to be a metaphor. Unless perhaps he is referring to the notion that because "Real Christ" dreamed it, it must be somehow part of Reality.
But either way, reaching this true perception, glimpsing the forgiven world, and then moving beyond it is clearly more the goal. The stars will disappear in light, the entire universe will be swallowed up by the light of God, and our "final collective miracle" will finally completely erase the illusion from the collective mind of the Sonship. God's final step will be like a permanent never-ending revelation. The complete reunion with His Son and the complete, full expression of LOVE.
In the Course, note that Jesus refers to the "plan of Atonement" of which He is in charge. Also He refers to "The Great Awakening". While we are to each accept the atonement for ourselves, which really means accepting that what applies to ourselves applies to everyone equally, there is also a long-term goal of the complete awakening of the entire Sonship.
Jesus refers to this as the "Great Crusade" to help all your brothers wake up to truth. This crusade is basically an "effort", if you will, to bring about the end of the universe, by helping everyone to wake up to reality. Since this world is a DREAM, it must stop being dreamed at some point, and when we WAKE UP, the dream will end.
Jesus calls for us to join this Great Crusade to HELP HIM in helping the Sonship to awaken. He asks us therefore to be a part of the effort to TEACH and HEAL our brothers, to demonstrate miracles which teach the truth, and to bring the "good news" that nothing has really gone wrong. This is why we are supposed to be taking it to the people, bringing God "to" those who sleep, or rather, bring them to God.
Whatever form it takes, whether you refer to it as "bringing Heaven to Earth" or "bringing Earth to Heaven", there IS a call for us to help Jesus in liberating others from suffering and unconsciousness and victimhood and perceptual mistakes. We are to become Voices For God, or rather, Teachers of God. Teachers of God TEACH! And they do it by demonstration of miracles. And they do this to teach those who sleep.
The Course tells us that Jesus's body was needed by Christ so that the truth of God could enter the dream and teach those who were sleeping, to help them to awaken from within the dream, to the truth. It's not just our job to "get out of here" and leave other people sleeping. It's our job and DUTY to represent the truth, to demonstrate by example the Truth of God (perfect innocence, invulnerability, immortality, etc), so that it will help our brother to awaken from his dreaming.
Then we can all go Home to God as One.