Daily Inspiration

Living in the World but Not of It

You live by symbols. You have made up names for everything you see. Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name.

By this split you think you are established as a unity which functions with an independent will.

It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all symbols of the world, forgetting them forever; yet were asked to take a teaching function. You have need to use the symbols of the world a while. But be you not deceived by them as well. They do not stand for anything at all, and in your practicing it is this thought that will release you from them. They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found.

Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learnĀ­ing of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. Here you understand the Word, the Name which God has given you; the one Identity which all things share; the one acknowledgment of what is true. And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules. (A Course in Miracles Workbook Lesson 184, W-pI.184.1:1-3;2:4;9-10. See also ACIM Lesson 184 Insights.)

Our only meaningful function in the world is to awaken from the dream of separation. This is a process of shifting from our conviction that the world and all its parts are real. We make them seem real by our belief in them. Yet the Course is teaching us that it is nothing more than a dream with no reality in truth.

It seems like a huge leap to accept the truth that only Love is real; nothing but Love’s oneness exists. But we do not have to make this leap all at once. We make this change of mind by turning our attention from the teachings of the ego to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, the Voice of our true Self in our mind.

The practice of taking time each day to step back from our involvement in the world and rise above of it to the peace of our true Self opens the way for us to receive Holy Spirit’s lessons in truth. His lessons bring us increasing certainty of the oneness of Love and eternal peace that is our Home.

Each time we rise above and have an experience of this peace and oneness, it becomes increasingly real to us. We bring this awareness with us as we return to the world. This greater awareness becomes a healing balm to the fear and guilt in the dream. With this practice, we learn to live in the world but not be of it.

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