In ACIM we're told about "the real world" and many people have different ideas about what that's referring to. Here's my take on it. It took me quite a long time to realize this.
Contrary to popular belief, the real world is actually another name for Heaven. God's creation. Reality. This is why Jesus correctly uses the word "Real" in relation to it. It is the Heaven that God created, which also is another name for the Sonship. It is described for example in this quote:
"Sit quietly and look upon the world you see, and tell yourself, "The real world is not like this. It has no buildings, and there are no streets where people walk alone and separately. There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim. There is no loss. Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever."
The shining forever only takes place in Heaven. It's not a temporary shining or an intermediary place. There is no Earth there, no bodies, no walls, and no sun to cause "night and day." No buildings, no streets, nothing physical. It's talking about Heaven.
Now, in some OTHER statements Jesus makes, he is speaking in a context of having perception still. And when He is speaking within this context, He refers to "the real world". But is now referring to the real world, Heaven, from a perceptual standpoint. So now what he's calling the real world, is the PERCEPTION OF the real world. It's a symbol, within a dream. An interpretation or judgement, a partial glimpse or reflection of Heaven within the separated state. He refers to that "image" of the real world AS the real world, because you are PERCEIVING the real world - heaven - but this is not the same thing as being IN Heaven.
"The real world is a symbol, like the rest of what perception offers. Yet it stands for what is opposite to what you made."
"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."
Jesus says for example that you can PERCEIVE the real world, which means that you can be still OUTSIDE of the Kingdom, looking in from a separated state - because "perception is a separated state". It's like window shopping.
"To believe that you can perceive the real world is to believe that you can know yourself."
"The forgiven world", is actually a reference to Earth/this universe which is seen through, past, and beyond, as a thin veil which covers the face of Christ. The "face of Christ" is another synonym for the PERCEPTION OF the real world of heaven - sort of an outside exterior look at the surface of Heaven from a separated state. The forgiven world is Earth, the real world is Heaven. And "the real world" (perceived) is what you see BEYOND "the forgiven world" (earth) when you overlook it with forgiveness but are still having perception. And "those who perceive still need healing" and "perception of the truth (perception of the real world) is not the same as knowing it (being IN IT, one with it)".
"All this beauty will rise to bless your sight, as you look upon the world with forgiving eyes. For forgiveness literally TRANSFORMS vision, and lets you see the real world (perception of heaven), reaching quietly and gently across chaos (earth/hell/forgiven world), and removing ALL illusions that had twisted your perception, and fixed it on the past. The smallest leaf (part of the forgiven world, NOT the real world) becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God's perfection (signs are symbolic, not the ACTUAL thing - the perfection seen is the real world BEYOND the forgiven world of the leaf). From the forgiven world, the Son of God is lifted easily to his home. And there he knows that he has ALWAYS rested there, in peace."
Similarly "God is in everything I see because God is in my mind" really means that you look at/through/beyond the forgiven world of Earth, it becomes transparent, and you see BEYOND IT, to the real world, and it is the real world that is GOD... that you SEE BEYOND the physical, beyond forms, and seems to be "in" what you physically see, because you're seeing both the physical AND the real world at the same time. This does not in any way make the forgiven world REAL, NOR does it associate it with God. God is IN what you see because he is BEYOND the forgiven world that forgiveness is OVERLOOKING and seeing PAST, TO reality. And when you forgive the world and see God "in" it, the world disappears and reveals there is ONLY GOD, no world.
"Every illusion brought to its forgiveness is gently overlooked, and disappears."
"A forgiven world cannot last."
Once the face of christ is seen, ie real world is perceived, the forgiven world - the veil - actually disappears from sight completely, because "it is impossible to see two worlds."
"This world you see (earth/forgiven world) MUST BE DENIED (not put on a pedestal!!!), for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision. YOU CANNOT SEE BOTH WORLDS (there ARE TWO WORLDS, heaven and earth, and Heaven is HERE, Earth IS NOT HERE). 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." - its like a seesaw, you can be up or down but not both. As true perception dawns, false perception ends. As heaven is recognized, earth is forgotten.
"For what appears to hide the Face of Christ (earth/forgiven world) is powerless before His Majesty, and **disappears** before His holy sight." (thus earth can't be holy)
"Before this light the body disappears, as heavy shadows MUST give way to light." (body is made of darkness - "the body is a dream" "the body is the IDEA OF SIN made flesh and projected outwards.")
Here for me is the key distinction between these "four" different worlds/terminologies:
Unforgiven world" Earth/this world, not overlooked, it is an illusion, and IF YOU BELIEVE IT IS REAL, you are delusional and insane and are blinded by perception of form. You are not seeing PAST form so are no forgiving. This makes the world seem like a real place, a real nightmare of hell. Where "things happen", people suffer, and there is real death. THIS is "the world you made." It has nothing to do with God, and the Holy Spirit DOES NOT see it because His forgiveness COMPLETELY overlooks it and fixates on the real world.
Forgiven world: Earth/this world, overlooked with forgiveness, seen through, recognized WITH truth of true perception as BEING FALSE, becomes transparent and disappears when the face of christ/real world is seen. True perception overlooks it. "Forgiveness does not look upon bodies." Teachers of God (not advanced) still see it overlaid on top of the perception of the real world as a thin veil and so can operate "in" the forgiven world/earth from a state of "mostly awake" or "Awareness of dreaming is the function of God's teachers". This awareness is NOT awakening. It is "conscious sleep", because dreams are still being DREAMED.
Real world (as perception of heaven from outside): Also is the same thing as the face of christ, and "the real world still is but a dream". This perception OF the real world isn't reality, it's a reflection of Heaven within the dreaming state. It seems heaven-like and "holy" but it is still an illusion. Perceiving this FULLYy you NO LONGER SEE planet Earth and cannot remain in this state longer than an instant before God scoopes you up and you return to awareness of BEING IN Heaven.
Real world (as Heaven itself): Being IN heaven, with no perception, no forgiven world, no bodies, no buildings etc. This is the living world of light. God's creation. The sonship. Reality. The REAL world that is not earth in any way.
"And now God's knowledge, changeless, certain, pure and wholly understandable, enters its kingdom. Gone is perception, false and true alike (no perception IN the real world of heaven). Gone is forgiveness, for its task is done (includes atonement). And gone are bodies in the blazing light upon the altar to the Son of God (all physical forms/worlds). 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 (perception of real world has made it impossible to see physical worlds), and now is the last perception of the world without a purpose and without a cause (forgiven world disappears in this perception of light). For where God's memory has come at last (in heaven) there is no journey, no belief in sin, no walls, no bodies (no f'ing bodies in heaven!), and the grim appeal of guilt and death is there snuffed out forever."
Here for example is a reference to how Heaven, the REAL real world, can reach into THIS world - the forgiven world.
"This aching world (Earth/physical/unforgiven world/hell/even as the forgiven world) has not the power to touch the living world (real world of Heaven) 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 (Heaven IS ANOTHER WORLD - the REAL world). But the REAL world (heaven) HAS the power to touch you even here (outside the Kingdom, in this illusory world), BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT (heaven). And what you call with love WILL come to you (from Heaven). Love always answers, being unable to deny a call for help, or not to hear the cries of pain that rise to it, from every part of this strange world you made (earth/unforgiven world), and do not want (earth holds nothing that I want). The only effort you need make, to give this world (earth) away in glad exchange for what you did NOT make (God created Heaven not earth), is willingness to learn THE ONE YOU MADE IS FALSE. (Earth, un/forgiven world, is FALSE!)."
"The world you made (earth etc) is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself (heaven)."
God created the real world of heaven: "The real world (heaven, perceived) is the way that leads you to remembrance of this one thing that is wholly true and WHOLLY YOURS. For all else you have LENT yourself in time, and it WILL fade (earth will disappear). But this one thing is ALWAYS yours, being the gift of God unto His Son ("And God so loved the world (heaven) that he gave it TO His only begotten Son - God doesn't give planets."). Your ONE reality (heaven) was GIVEN you, and BY it, God created you as one with Him. (in heaven)"
Now, the Holy Spirit is a simultaneous MAKER (not creator) of the world you made. You made hell, but he repurposes it to direct you towards Heaven, and to change your perception of/making of it so that you stop interpreting it as hell and reinterpret it as a REFLECTION of Heaven, once removed from Heaven. HE, therefore, made "the real world" as in, the PERCEPTION OF the world GOD CREATED, Heaven, from inside the dream. And this real world is the face of christ. It is NOT EARTH. He ignores, overlooks, cancels, everything of the forgiven world and points beyond it.
"There is another Maker of the world, the simultaneous Corrector of the mad belief that ANYTHING could be established and maintained without some link that kept it still within the laws of God; NOT as the law itself upholds the universe as God created it (heaven), but in some form adapted to the need the Son of God believes he has. Corrected error IS the error's end. And thus has God protected still His Son, even in error. There IS another purpose in the world that error made (you made earth in error/sin), BECAUSE it has another Maker Who CAN reconcile its **goal** with His Creator's purpose.
In His perception of the world (forgiven world, totally overlooked), nothing is seen but justifies forgiveness and the sight of perfect sinlessness (and "to see a sinless body is impossible" because perception does NOT SEE bodies). Nothing arises but is met with instant and complete forgiveness. Nothing remains an instant, to obscure the sinlessness that shines unchanged, beyond the pitiful attempts of specialness to put it out of mind, where it MUST be, and light the BODY up INSTEAD of it."
You can only perceive bodies if you believe in sin. You can only see bodies if you are Unforgiving. You can only see bodies/the forgiven world if you are NOT fully forgiving! Because a forgiven world cannot last and sinlessness is not OF the forgiven world, it's of the real world. Holy Spirit totally overlooks Earth and bodies and the forgiven world and fixates on the real world, temporarily through perception OF the real world and simultaneously IN the real world (heaven).
The Holy Spirit offers a happy dream to replace the nightmare dream that you made. It does not replace the world you made, it reinterprets it, OVERLOOKS it, and looks toward Heaven. The world you made as opposite to Heaven is hell, this planet, this universe. Spacetime. It is opposite to Heaven in every way. Holy Spirit allows you to forgive it and overlook it and forget it. This does not mean looking AT IT and LOVING IT. IT means learning TO SEE, by NOT SEEING THE WORLD - not allowing "perception of form" to BLOCK YOUR SIGHT. To look away from dark dreams of hell towards the light and eventually beyond it entirely. The real world is BEYOND the forgiven world. Christ Vision is like x-ray vision.
"You will first DREAM of peace (forgiven world/perception of real world), and THEN awaken to it (in Heaven/THE real world). Your first exchange of what you made for what you want, is the exchange of nightmares for the happy dreams of love (false perception vs true perception). In these lie your true perceptions, for the Holy Spirit corrects the world of dreams (earth + symbol of real world) where ALL perception is."
"And the real world is but your welcome of what always was (perception of heaven gets you ready to wake up TO heaven). Therefore the call of joy is in it, and your glad response is your awakening (being IN heaven) to what you have NOT lost. "
"The world you made" and "The world you see" are this planet and the surrounding environment. All of spacetime. You are not supposed to hold it dear or value it or want to keep it. *****SIGHT OF IT, IS COSTING YOU*****. "This world you see (earth, with body's eyes) MUST BE DENIED, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision. ****YOU CANNOT SEE BOTH WORLDS****. (very key mechanic, one or the other not both) 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 cannot see earth if you see heaven, period. You cannot see even the perception of the real world/face of christ and still see physical objects.
"You do not really want **the world you see** (earth + space), for it has disappointed you since time began. The homes you built (yes physical houses) have never sheltered you. The roads you made (yes physical roads) have led you nowhere, and no city that you built (yes like chicago, new york, london) 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." (get rid of that shit!)
"To be without a body is to be in your natural state."
True perception, perception of the real world (heaven), the face of christ, the happy dream, are all the same. Perception is always within the dream, OF the dream, or as an interpretation of heaven. It can reflect heaven or rather you can shine heaven's light into the dream from heaven and illuminate it and shine it away or overlook it, and see YOUR reflection of your IMAGE of your real self there. Once removed from reality.
"Knowledge is power BECAUSE it is certain, and certainty is strength. Perception is temporary. It is an attribute of the space-time belief, and is therefore subject to fear or love. Misperception produces fear, and true perception produces love. NEITHER produces certainty because all perception varies. That is why it is NOT knowledge. True perception is the BASIS for knowledge, but KNOWING is the affirmation of truth."
Knowing occurs only IN heaven, not through perception.
Notice also there is a huge difference between the REFLECTION of heaven, and ACTUALLY BEING IN heaven.
"Those who have learned to offer ONLY healing, because of the reflection of holiness in them (YOU are the reflection), are ready at last for Heaven. There, ***holiness is not a reflection***, but rather the ***ACTUAL CONDITION*** of what was but reflected TO them here (on earth, BUT IN YOU, Earth does not become holy). God is no **image** (reflection are IMAGES in a dream), and His creations, as part of Him, hold Him in them in truth. They do not merely REFLECT the truth, for THEY ARE truth (ACTUAL holiness). When **no perception** stands between God and His Creation, or between His Children and their own (perception is gone), the knowledge of creation MUST continue forever. The **reflections** that you accept into the mirror of your minds in time (within the dream of spacetime), but bring eternity nearer or farther.
But eternity ITSELF is beyond ALL time (beyond spacetime!) Reach out of time and touch it, with the help of its ***reflection IN you***, and you will turn FROM time to holiness, as surely as the reflection of holiness calls everyone to lay all guilt aside. Reflect the peace of Heaven HERE, and bring this world to Heaven. For the REFLECTION of truth draws everyone TO truth. And as they enter INTO it, they leave ALL reflections behind. In Heaven, reality is SHARED, and not reflected. By sharing its reflection HERE, its truth becomes the only perception which the Son of God accepts. And thus, remembrance of His Father dawns on him, and he can no longer be satisfied with anything but his own reality."
PERCEIVING the real world (heaven) is seeing the "face" or "surface of" Christ from the outside. Outside the kingdom essentially. "The world", aka Earth etc, is a block - a literal physical blockage - a wall of sin - the veil - standing before and in the way of sight of heaven. Jesus refers to it as "the granite block of sin" which the body's eyes are totally blinded by and cannot see past. PHYSICAL sin.
"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. It is seen at last for only what it is. And now it cannot fail to disappear, for now there is an empty place made clean and ready. Where destruction was perceived the face of Christ appears, and in that instant is the world (earth) forgot, with time forever ended as the world spins into nothingness from where it came."
So as stated in you cannot see two worlds, once you FULLY perceive with true perception, you become INCAPABLE of seeing the world of bodies. The veil - which houses all the bodies and planets - DISAPPEARS, and now you PERCEIVE Heaven only. This is perception of the real world. What many people think "is the real world". But this reference, this perceived IMAGE of a real world, is a dream. ie "The real world still is but a dream" <- does not mean Heaven is a dream, the perceptual version of it is.
The world of bodies, planets, animals, forests, civilizations, galaxies, is a dream world. It becomes the forgiven world. HELL, becomes forgiven. And this "forgiven world" WAS made of the idea of sin and separation and death. And by forgiving it, you are OVERLOOKING it, which causes it to DISAPPEAR. If you forgive hell, it will disappear. If you overlook sin, things MADE OF SIN, will disappear. If you overlook the separation, THE GAP, which contains spacetime, will disappear. And leave no trace in its going.
"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. The world of bodies is the world of sin (earth is made 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 (spacetime world) in place? For place has gone as well, along with time. (spacetime ends) Only the body makes the world seem real, for being separate it could not remain where separation is impossible (bodies cannot exist in heaven, they rely on spacetime). Forgiveness proves it is impossible (no exceptions) because it sees it not (forgiveness, complete as the atonement, DOES NOT SEE THE WORLD OF BODIES). And what you then will overlook will not be understandable to you, just as its presence once had been your certainty. This is the shift that true perception brings"
Once the world is forgiven by all beings/souls, the forgiven world will entirely vanish. It is made of darkness. It is the ABSENCE of light. It is the idea of death. "Without the idea of death there is no world." It is opposition to reality. It is denial. It is made of the attempt to claim that light does not exist and darkness exists. When the light comes, light shines away darkness because darkness is not a real "thing". It's merely the illusion of the absence of light/love/God, and being an illusion it vanishes when it is recognized as such. "Illusions recognized must disappear." "The body cannot stay without illusions."
"They live in secrecy, hating the sunlight, and happy in the body's darkness, where they can hide, and keep their secrets hidden, along with them."
"And the seeming reality of the darkness makes the idea of light meaningless."
"No darkness abides ANYWHERE in the Kingdom, so your part is only to allow no darkness to abide in your OWN mind." (yes, your OWN mind, as an individual mind, one of many)
"Light does not ATTACK darkness, but it does shine it away."
"The barren sands, the darkness, and the lifelessness are seen only through the body's eyes." (body's eyes cannot see reality ever, and it also cannot perceive the real world!)
"The body is darkness."
The universe, as we know it, the physical, with Earth and other stuff, will disappear in the light. Earth does not translate INTO light, because it an ILLUSION of light's absence. It does not BECOME heaven. Earth is the ILLUSION, that there is an absence of heaven. It's a lack of light, which is impossible. "It is the world you see that is impossible." It's NOT THERE NOW. It's just an illusion, not a real thing. IT doesn't have an "it". When there seems to be darkness it is only because there seems to be a lack of light. There is a huge difference between light's seeming absence, and ACTUAL real darkness. Real darkness does not exist. The world, does not exist. It will simply vanish as an hallucination. There is no world. There is no body. There is no earth in heaven.
"Eternity will shine away the world."
"The world will spin into the nothingness from which it came."
THERE WILL NOT BE A SINGLE SHRED OF EARTH KEPT WHEN IT IS SHONE AWAY BY THE LIGHT, just as all darkness VANISHES COMPLETELY when you switch the light on. "Illusions leave NO TRACE in their going."
"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 (because to SEE it you will NO LONGER see earth). For God will take the last step swiftly, when you have reached the real world, and have been made ready for Him."
And yes it does say literally, the SUN.... will vanish.
And then... there's being IN heaven.
"Heaven remains your one alternative to this strange world you made (earth) and all its ways; its shifting patterns and uncertain goals, its painful pleasures and its tragic joys. God made no contradictions. What denies its own existence and attacks itself (earth does this) is not of Him. He did **not** make two minds, with Heaven as the glad effect of one, and earth the other's sorry outcome which is Heaven's opposite in every way."
Yes the physical planet earth, hell, is opposite to Heaven in EVERY WAY. And God would've have to have been SPLIT MINDED In order to make it because he DID create Heaven and heaven is TOTALLY OPPOSITE to Earth's nature and laws. "The laws of this world go against your nature." So he could not have created Earth AS WELL as Heaven. And earth IS NOT Heaven, it's a "sorry outcome".
"He thinks he made a hell opposing Heaven, and believes that he abides in what does not exist, while Heaven is the place he cannot find. " (you think you abide in, live, in reality, on planet earth. It is not reality, it is hell)
You can go beyond this world to the world of light, Heaven, which God created as your true home. Your REAL HOME. The REAL world.
"Put out your hand and see how easily the door swings open with your one intent to go beyond it. Angels light the way, so that all darkness vanishes and you are standing in a light so bright and clear that you can understand all things you see. A tiny moment of surprise, perhaps, will make you pause before you realize the world you see before you in the light reflects the truth you knew, and did not quite forget in wandering away in dreams. (talking about PERCEPTION of the real world/forgiven world).
You cannot fail today. There walks with you the Spirit Heaven sent you that you might approach this door some day, and through His aid slip effortlessly past it to the light. Today that day has come. Today God keeps His ancient promise to His holy Son, as does His Son remember his to Him. This is a day of gladness, for we come to the appointed time and place where you will find the goal of all your searching here and all the seeking of the world, which ends together as you pass beyond the door." (into heaven).
"This loveliness is NOT a fantasy (perception OF the real world from outside). 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. (forgiven world has disappeared). The bridge between that world (perception of the real world) and this (Jesus talking from INSIDE OF HEAVEN - the REAL world) is SO little, and SO easy to cross, that you could not believe it is the meeting-place of worlds so different (yes, two entirely different worlds, earth and heaven). Yet this little bridge is the strongest thing that touches on this world (earth/forgiven world/perception OF real world) at all (from beyond it). This little step, so small it has escaped your notice, is a stride through time (spacetime) into eternity (heaven), and beyond all ugliness (YES EVERYTHING IN SPACETIME IS UGLY - the forgiven world is ugly), into beauty that will enchant you (the beauty of HEAVEN ITSELF), and will never cease to cause you wonderment at its perfection."