A Course in Miracles Blog

The physical world is a block to awareness

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You might think that the only blocks to awareness are in your mind. ie, in your brain. You might think that there is no such thing as a block "outside your body."

But the world you see out there, is coming from your mind. And in fact, your mind has made a world. It is hallucinating a world. This means that effectively, your blocks to awareness will be regarded as outside of you, just as much as internal.

In fact, let's even go so far as to say, that blocks to awareness can be PHYSICAL. Especially since "you maintain the world in your mind with your thoughts" and "both Heaven and Earth are in your mind."

Let's see what Jesus says about this:

"The world stands like a block before Christ's face. But true perception looks on it as nothing more than just a fragile veil, so easily dispelled that it can last no longer than an instant."

So Jesus is saying, THE WORLD - Earth, physical matter, is standing like a BLOCK in front of the face of Christ. ie the world's FORMS are BLOCKING your sight of Christ. They are coming between you, getting in the way. This is no mere symbol or metaphor either. Literally you've put what appears to be a PHYSICAL WALL between you and God.

Jesus also goes on to refer to the seemingly solid world as a block.

"Sin is a block, set like a heavy gate, locked and without a key, across the road to peace. No-one who looks on it without the help of reason, would try to pass it. The body's eyes behold it as solid granite, so thick it would be madness to attempt to pass it. Yet reason sees through it easily, BECAUSE it is an error. The form it takes cannot conceal its emptiness from reason's eyes."

Notice how the body's eyes are looking upon this "block of sin" as though it is SOLID GRANITE. Thick and solid seeming. Physical matter. This is "the veil". It is a BLOCK to awareness of Christ. A PHYSICAL WALL, made of thought in your mind.

He also notably tells you that REASON is able to SEE SENSE by OVERLOOKING this block. Recognizing the block as an "error". Which means physical objects are ERRORS. They are the FORM of error, the various forms that error (the separation idea, belief in sin) has taken. And here we are also clued in that physical forms are "forms of error."

"ONLY the form of error attracts the ego. Meaning it does not recognize, and does not know if it is there or not. Everything that the body's eyes can see is a mistake, an error in perception, a distorted fragment of the whole, without the meaning that the whole would give. And yet mistakes, regardless of their form, can be corrected. Sin is but error in a special form the ego venerates. It would preserve all errors, and make them sins. For here is its own stability, its heavy anchor in the shifting world it made; the rock on which its church is built, and where its worshippers are bound to bodies, and believe the body's freedom is their own."

Jesus also refers to solidity, in equation with illusions. Ie the physical world which SEEMS SOLID, is an illusion.

"If you but recognized how little stands between you and your awareness of your union! Be not deceived by the illusions it presents of size and thickness, weight, solidity, and firmness of foundation. Yes, to the body's eyes it looks like an enormous, solid body, immovable as is a mountain. Yet, within you, there is a force which no illusions can resist. This body only seems to be immovable. This force is irresistible in truth. What, then, must happen when they come together? Can the illusion of immovability be long defended for what is quietly passed through and gone beyond?"

So to the body's eyes, the forms of error, physical objects, solid matter, their seeming "solidity" "weight" "firmness" etc.... these things all seem real. And failing to OVERLOOK them, is a lack of forgiveness. They form "the veil", which covers up the face of Christ. In fact, this world of SOLIDITY is an attempt to BLOCK YOUR VISION. The physical world, including Earth, and all the stars and galaxies, were made as a place where God could enter not. ie, were made as a WALL to BLOCK YOU from God. To come between you. To make it seem like you are not in the Kingdom.

To the body's eyes, "these eyes made not to see will never see" were made so that you CANNOT see the face of Christ. They were designed to LOOK AT the outside surface of nothing, matter, whereby photons are reflected off (denied) and bounce into the eyes to tell you "the world is there, it is solid, it exists." But because the world BLOCKS vision, it is the fact that your sight was BLOCKED BY the solid matter, that you have not ACTUALLY SEEN. You did not OVERLOOK the surface of the physical objects, and so did not see the face of Christ. "Nothing so blinding as perception of form."

"The body's eyes see ONLY form. They cannot see beyond what they were MADE to see. And they were made to look on error, and not see past it. Theirs is indeed a strange perception, for they can see only illusions, unable to look beyond the granite block of sin, and stopping at the outside form of nothing. To this distorted form of vision, the outside of everything, the wall that stands between you and the truth, is wholly true."

"It is not Will for Life, but wish for death, that is the motivation for this world. Its ONLY purpose is TO PROVE GUILT REAL."

Here's Jesus is clearly stating that the physical human body's form of sight, can ONLY see forms, and they only look on ERROR, and this error of form they look at is the granite block of SIN. Which means that the physical world is made of sin, and the body was designed to make the sin seem real. The body's vision STOPS at the SURFACE of nothing (forms, objects) and fails to see past it. This forms A SOLID PHYSICAL WALL, which stands between YOU and THE TRUTH (heaven/God/Christ).

"The world of bodies is the world of sin, for only if there were a body is sin possible. From sin comes guilt as surely as forgiveness takes all guilt away. And once all guilt is gone what more remains to keep a separated world in place? For place has gone as well, along with time. Only the body makes the world seem real, for being separate it could not remain where separation is impossible. Forgiveness proves it is impossible because it sees it not. And what you then will overlook will not be understandable to you, just as its presence once had been your certainty."

"How is this done? It is extremely simple, being based on what this little kingdom really IS. The barren sands, the darkness, and the lifelessness are seen only through the body's eyes. ITS vision IS distorted, and the messages IT transmits to you, who MADE it to limit your awareness, ARE little and limited, so fragmented that they are meaningless. From the world of bodies, MADE by insanity, insane messages seem to be returned to the mind which made it. And these messages bear witness to this world, pronouncing it as true. For YOU sent forth these messengers, to bring this BACK to you.

Everything these messages relay to you is quite external. There are NO messages that speak of what lies underneath, for it is NOT the body that could speak of this."

The body can only "see" BLOCKS, and it sees them precisely BECAUSE vision STOPPED at their surface and failed to go beyond. Seeing with the body is thus NOT seeing at all, it is false perception. It is a state of seeing the interior surface of a walled-in room of hell and darkness, as if it's all that exists. A failure to look through or past the walls (with a kind of x-ray vision, christ vision), makes the world seem like it is SOLID and REAL and ALL THAT EXISTS. And believing this is blindness. It's an unawareness that the Kingdom exists, and an attempt NOT to see God.

"The body's eyes will NEVER look on it. Yet they will SEE what it dictates. The body will remain guilt's messenger, and will act as it directs, as long as YOU believe that guilt is real. For the REALITY of guilt is the illusion which seems to make it heavy and opaque, impenetrable, and a REAL foundation for the ego's thought system. Its thinness and transparency are not apparent, until you see the light BEHIND it. And then you see it as a fragile veil, before the light."

So here Jesus is clearly saying, that there is a light BEYOND the veil, beyond the wall of flesh, beyond the granite block of sin, beyond physical matter. By becoming able to SEE this light, you MUST use spiritual vision (christ vision) which is forgiving and DOES NOT SEE BODIES. "Forgiveness does not look upon bodies." It looks PAST bodies, past the illusion of form, past error, past the WORLD, TO the light. To the face of Christ. The face of Christ is effectively BEHIND the world (really outside of it, because we're inside a bubble of illusions, dreaming of exile).

So what this really adds up to is, BLOCKS TO AWARENESS are not simply your attitude about the world. They are not taking place just "in my head". There quite literally has been a PHYSICAL BARRIER placed outside you as the world, designed to tempt you to believe that THE WORLD is real, so that you do NOT SEE reality. So long as you use the body's eyes to see it, you will be blinded. You cannot look AT it with forgiveness to try to TURN IT INTO a Kingdom of God. It is made of the denial of the Kingdom. The world itself has to be OVERLOOKED.

And that means, blocks to awareness are not just inside your mind in the way you might think of them. The planet is a block to awareness. If you BELIEVE IN IT, your mind agrees with your body's eyes and you become unable to see. You instead perceive hell. This is false perception. The world you made is hell, the opposite of heaven. "Earth, heaven's opposite in every way." But if your mind chooses NOT to believe what your eyes are telling you is there, it becomes able to OVERLOOK what the body sees to see THROUGH IT, PAST IT, like a thin veil.

You not only overlook a block to awareness "in your mind", you overlook it "out there" also. By not believing in the world, you do not SEE IT. And this is based on the fact that your mind IS LARGER THAN THE UNIVERSE. It must be, because it CONTAINS planet Earth. If size can be considered real, your mind MUST be bigger than your body. In fact all bodies are within it, including all galaxies. And you put them INSIDE your mind to BLOCK awareness of where you really are - in Heaven. To remove the block, therefore, is ultimately to REMOVE THE WORLD.

"This world you see (with the body's eyes) MUST BE DENIED, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision (christ vision). YOU CANNOT SEE BOTH WORLDS. For each of them involves a different kind of seeing, and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one is possible because you have DENIED THE OTHER."

"You do not really want the world you see (with the body), for it has disappointed you since time began. The homes you built have never sheltered you. The roads you made have led you nowhere, and no city that you built has withstood the crumbling assault of time. Nothing you made but has the mark of death upon it. Hold it not dear, for it is old and tired, and ready to return to dust even as you made it."

"The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end."

You must DENY that what the body sees is real. You must OVERLOOK everything it shows you. You must NOT BELIEVE the testimony of the flesh. You must IGNORE it. You must look through its lies, its errors, its illusions, be NOT deceived, and look PAST THE WORLD, past your brother's body, to reality. This is what Christ vision allows you to do, and the development of this overlooking is the whole purpose of the workbook.

"The purpose of these exercises (workbook intro) is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now, and the second with the restoration of sight."

"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."

"Christ's vision has one law. It does not look upon a body and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body; an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees."

Look at that.

Christ vision DOES NOT look up on a body. It does not regard the body as "there". It looks PAST it. That is forgiveness.

It beholds a light BEYOND the body. That light is the face of christ. It's reality, or at least the real world.

It sees NO separation (no forms).

It sees BEYOND all happenings and events that the body seems to suggest are still there, while fixated on the light that is BEYOND it.

BEYOND WHAT CAN BE TOUCHED (the physical).

So as you "remove blocks to awareness", you are learning NOT TO SEE the blocks. To see beyond them. Which means seeing beyond the WORLD, which is really in your mind as AN HALLUCINATION OF A WORLD. To not believe in the blocks allows you to forgive the world, and this means being able to LOOK BEYOND it to reality. Because the world is an illusion, that you made up, to block your vision, so that you would not be aware of God.

"A world forgiven cannot last. It was the home of bodies. But forgiveness looks past bodies. This is its holiness; this is how it heals."

Once the face of Christ is seen, perfectly, the physical world - the veil - which hangs like a block - disappears completely from your sight. The world is forgotten. Perception translates to knowledge and you wake up in Heaven.

"Accept the one illusion which proclaims there is no condemnation in God's Son, and Heaven is remembered instantly; the world forgotten, all its weird beliefs forgotten with it, as the Face of Christ appears unveiled at last in this one dream. This is the gift the Holy Spirit holds for you from God your Father."

"Now is there silence all around the world. Now is there stillness where before there was a frantic rush of thoughts that made no sense. Now is there tranquil light across the face of earth, made quiet in a dreamless sleep. And now the Word of God alone remains upon it. Only That can be perceived an instant longer. Then are symbols done, and everything you ever thought you made completely vanished from the mind which God forever knows to be His only Son."

"And now God's knowledge, changeless, certain, pure and wholly understandable, enters its kingdom. Gone is perception, false and true alike. Gone is forgiveness, for its task is done. And gone are bodies in the blazing light upon the altar to the Son of God. God knows it is His Own, as it is his. And here They join, for here the face of Christ has shone away time's final instant, and now is the last perception of the world without a purpose and without a cause. For where God's memory has come at last there is no journey, no belief in sin, no walls, no bodies, and the grim appeal of guilt and death is there snuffed out forever."

"The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons, and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade, will not return."

"The stars will disappear in light, and the sun, which 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 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."

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