If you'll take a look, willingly, for a while, you'll notice that everything in the world goes wrong sooner or later.
The food goes moldy. The leaves die off. The cars break down. The tv stops working. The shoes develop a hole. The carpet gathers dirt. The river drowns someone. The volcanos explode. The lightning strikes a cow. Suns go supernova etc.
Do you notice a trend? If you look for long enough without denial?
Are you expecting these things not to happen?
What part of life is it that gets our hopes up that these things won't occur? Have we become clever at building an illusory sense of safety, a little oasis in the desert, a barricade against death?
Jesus says the main purpose of special relationships is to draw a little circle around a portion of hell to keep attack out and create an illusion of safety within. Why do we do that? Some kind of denial that the food is going to go moldy, the house windows are going to break, the trains are going to rust, the babies are going to die?
We find ourselves in this hellish world we made which, if you sit and look at it, you can see it "dying" all the time. If you take off the rose tinted glasses, the hopes and dreams, the wishful thinking, the defenses, the attempts to protect yourself from its onslaught, just sit and watch it. Everything dies here sooner or later.
That isn't pleasant. It's not pretty. It's built into the system.
We can be quite heavily in denial of this. In fact there's a whole lot of motivation and activity in the world geared towards brushing this fact under the carpet. The denial of it, while you go pursue successful careers and happy families and build your houses on ground that will, eventually, swallow them up.
I'm not trying to be morbid here, or negative. I'm not passing any judgement. Just look at it. This is what the world is like. Do we want to stay in denial of this? Do we want to keep pretending it's not how it is, and keep running away from death? Not that we should run towards it either, but we have to be willing to recognize what this world's nature is without flinching.
Jesus says "The world is false perception". He also says "without the idea of death there is no world." He also says "The body's eyes are not the means by which the real world can be seen." and "Only the body makes the world seem real."
What this tells you is that this world, which is always in a state of death and dying and decay, is fundamentally ONLY existing in a state of FALSE perception. And when you move toward true perception, opening the spiritual eye, and seeing with Christ Vision, you are looking using a non-body apparatus, a non-false apparatus, a true perception, which looks past this world entirely and looks to reality. And in that reality this world doesn't exist, because you can only see it when your mind is in error. Because it's an hallucination.
The world was made to be the opposite of life. It's a dream of death. It's not a dream of life. It sometimes appears to contain illusions of life, spring, birth, renewal, regeneration, growth and so on. But these are all illusions. Flowers all die in the end, that's a fact. There is no life form anywhere that lives forever. Everything is always transitioning from spurts of what appear to be life, towards death. That's what the world does. It's built in, fundamental to its nature.
Do you think you can make this world stop doing that? By all means you can override this behavior through miracles, because the power of the mind trumps false perception and can easily change illusions. But nevertheless the world will still keep dying, destroying, eating and consuming everything else. It denies even its own existence and is against itself. The world is suicidal. This whole universe is.
The ego has a massive effort to try to save the world. It's a farce. The effort is to suggest that a world which is fundamentally made of death can be made to live. That death can be avoided, even though all its efforts to avoid death attract it and make it real. The world only contains a seeming mixture and the living and dying because we introduced an "opposite to life" into our minds and now try to live in a contradictory world where both life and death happen. And now we've made both life and death into an illusion.
Even as you awaken towards true perception, people will still continue to experience body death and sickness. There will still be wars. In case you didn't notice, doing the workbook does not cause the workbook to disappear. Nor does it change much what's on the news. Pandemics have happened in the lifetime of ACIM students. Because they do, because they're part of this world's functioning. This world has a function of failure and that does not change.
The effort to make this world change or to turn it into a physical form appearance of heaven, is impossible. It's an attempt to spiritualize an illusion and turn a illusion into something real and sacred and worth keeping. If you could do that you'd be stuck in hell forever with no reason to go home. You can't make an equivalent as attractive as God's creation. As Jesus says:
"This aching world has not the power to touch the living world at all. You could not give it that, and so, although you turn in sadness from it, you cannot find in it the road that leads AWAY from it, into another world. "
There are no roads, in hell, that lead out of hell. Darkness cannot become light while keeping the darkness. Ego cannot turn itself into holiness. Death cannot be alive. And non-existence cannot take on an existence. It's a closed system.
Life isn't here. Life is in heaven. If you want to be where life is, you go to where life is. You don't try to polish up a turd and turn it into something special. Your home and your natural environment are in the Kingdom with God, where you were designed to be. You cannot be comfortable in another world that's alien to you. This world is an alien world and the people on it are all aliens.
Can we let it be what it is, recognize its shortcoming, and turn away from it to the light, knowing that "this world holds nothing that I want"? Can we recognize its offerings of idols, pleasures, toys, temptations, treasures, as nothing but scraps of hell that we do not really want? And can we recognize as Jesus says that you CANNOT really WANT the world? Not really. It's fundamentally lacking.
We are to forgive the world, and shine a light of truth upon it, and recognize it for what it is WITHOUT the judgement that "sin is real" or "its really hell". But this merely lifts away from it any confusion about what it is. We then recognize it is simply false and nothing and not your home. A world of illusions. Not really sinful, not really anything. But not your home. You can love it, unconditionally, but you can't be in love with it if you want to be with God.
The world is dying. It was already dead when we made it.
"This world you see MUST BE DENIED, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of 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.
Both are not true, yet either one will seem as real to you, as the amount to which you hold it dear. And yet their power is NOT the same, because their real attraction to you IS unequal. You do not really want the world you see, 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.
This aching world has not the power to touch the living world at all. You could not give it that, and so, although you turn in sadness from it, you cannot find in it the road that leads AWAY from it, into another world. But the REAL world HAS the power to touch you even here, BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT. And what you call with love WILL come to you."