A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Chapter 13: The Guiltless World

Section VII: Attainment of the Real World

Read ACIM Chapter 13, Section VII (pages 254-258)

What does Jesus tell us is the key to attaining the real world?

In this section Jesus compares the world we made with the real world. He asks us to really look at the world we think we are living in and see it clearly for the false world it really is. He reminds us that it is a world of pain, scarcity and death and that we do not really want the disappointment that it offers. He reminds us that we are not trapped here. He tells us, “All that you need to give this world away in glad exchange for what you did not make is willingness to learn the one you made is false.” (4:4)

This is significant because Jesus is showing us the way to our real happiness. He also tells us, “The 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.” (2:1-2) Because we cannot see both worlds at the same time, we must be willing to relinquish one to see the other.

Why do we see a world of separate bodies?

Jesus is showing us that we see this world because we are cherishing it. It has been what we have wanted to see. But we have been wrong about what is true and what is false. We have labeled God’s oneness false and a world of separate bodies true. We have tried to make specialness real and replace God’s Reality with our own false ideas of uniqueness and seeing differences.

Now we have come to the time where we are learning a better way of seeing through the Holy Spirit. As we are willing, the Holy Spirit will show us the falsity of our wild imaginings. “As you follow Him, you will rejoice that you have found His company, and learned of Him the joyful journey home.” (6:4)

How does Jesus describe our natural state as we were created by God?

Much of paragraph seven describes our natural state as we were created by God. Our reality is Love, in which we are perfectly safe and at peace. This is the condition that God wills for us and it is also our will. Seeing the world of separation is really a denial of our true will. When we are aware of God’s loving Arms surrounding us, the world of pain disappears from our awareness.

The real world is the dream of peace that prepares us to awaken to the peace of Heaven. “You will first dream of peace, and then awaken to it. Your first exchange of what you made for what you want is the exchange of nightmares for the happy dreams of love. ...the dreams of love lead unto knowledge.” (9:1-2,5) In dreams of Love there is nothing to fear, and so we feel perfectly safe. Thus knowledge is welcomed rather than perceived as a threat to our identity. As Love is welcomed, joy comes with it.

Why is the belief in separate bodies the same as the belief in lack?

Love created us like Itself, giving us all Love, which is all that is real. Thus our true Self has everything. The belief in separation is by definition belief in lack because it is the belief that we have separated from Love. We cannot find Love in an environment where Love is denied, which is this world. The good news is that we have the Holy Spirit to serve as a mediator between the loveless world we made through denial and the reality of Love that is our inheritance.

Because of our belief in lack in this world, it is inevitable that we will seek to fill that lack and so we spend our time striving to acquire whatever we believe will fill the lack. Then we try to protect what we have acquired because we believe our safety depends upon keeping it. “The ego wants to have things for salvation, for possession is its law.” (10:11) All these possessions are substitutes for Love. Being unreal, they never truly satisfy. In fact, our investment in these possessions blinds us to the eternal presence of Love.

Why does Jesus encourage us to let go of worldly attachments?

In paragraphs 10 through 17 Jesus is gently encouraging us to let go of worldly attachments. He reminds us that the only thing of real value is to awaken in Christ. Valuing things in this world keeps us attached to the illusion. These values are dark spots that blind us to the Light of God that we are. The Holy Spirit always guides away from fear. Consequently we are not asked to give up the things we value in this world all at once. The Holy Spirit recognizes that this drastic shift would bring up fear of loss and lack. Instead He gently guides us to recognize that what we thought had value is really valueless and not worth our investment. If we practice letting the Holy Spirit guide our decisions, He will lead us to let go of what holds us in the world of illusion so that we can awaken to the Love we are.

What does Jesus say is the “only need to be fulfilled in time”?

In paragraph 16 we are told that by joining with Jesus we will experience the non-attachment he achieved for everyone. “In me you have already overcome every temptation that would hold you back. We walk together on the way to quietness that is the gift of God. Hold me dear, for what except your brothers can you need? We will restore to you the peace of mind that we must find together. The Holy Spirit will teach you to awaken unto us and to yourself. This is the only need to be fulfilled in time.” (16:1-6)

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