Why It Is Important to Accept the "Dream" As It Is

A Course in Miracles teaches us that Reality is formless, eternal Being extending without limit. It likens our experience of Reality’s opposite - a universe of time-bound, limited form - to a “dream”. It isn’t real but it sure seems real when you think you are in it.

Sometimes students ask, “If it’s a dream, why can’t anything be true? Why can’t reincarnation or unicorns or a ten-thousand year old earth or humans with wings or human civilization as the result of beings from other planets, etc. be true in the dream?” What they imply is that since it is a dream it can be anything one wants to dream it is

Very simply, the dream cannot be anything but what it is because it is over. The “dream” is what the “dream” was. When ACIM says you are always looking at the past it means this on two levels: As a self you look at the present through the filter of your personal past. But on another level the entire experience of the universe of form is over or “past”. The idea of the opposite of Reality was over as soon as it was thought because Reality’s all-encompassing nature makes an opposite of It impossible. Only within the idea, the “dream”, does the idea seem real and present. And when you think in terms of an “I” and of changing the universe of form you think you are a figure in the dream, that it is reality, and that it is happening now. You are not aware that you are the dreamer of the dream, that it is a dream, and that it is over. And when you do eventually realize that you are the dreamer of the dream you no longer care to change it because, not only is it over, it was a dream. It was nothing.


Think about the last time you had a dream while sleeping. When you woke up I bet you thought it was funny or sad or frightening or weird, etc. But I bet you didn’t spend any time at all on changing it because not only was it over but it wasn’t real. You will eventually realize this about the universe of form. Until then it is important to accept the dream as the evidence within it reveals it to be because otherwise you are fantasizing about the dream within the dream and you are twice removed from Reality.

>>>>>
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

Christine said…
Like a "twice baked potato"...done, and done.
hannahlily said…
perfect timing! laugh, christine! i was sitting here thinking about that last paragraph.. contemplating being twice removed from reality, it really clicked, so THATS what that means! and then your comment came through and reminded me that it doesnt really MEAN anything, laugh.. its not serious.. "its nothing"!

the last week i have been studying ken wapnicks 'healing - hearing the melody' which is on the theme of accepting rather than trying to change. i really recommend it to anyone who wants to spend time with the ideas in this blog post, and finds many ways of hearing the same idea described helpful ;)
jerryo said…
In dreams I am completely open hearted
just an observer.
Don't know the hows and whys of it
but thats the way the psyche works.

“I live in my dreams — that's what you sense.
Other people live in dreams, but not in their own.
That's the difference.”
― Hermann Hesse
Unknown said…
I do agree with the concept of this article however the practical experience may be challenging to some (if not many). In a sleeping dream at night I experience myself as an observer and rarely a decision-making. Day to day life appears to offer us a myriad of decisions per minute. Thus we cannot remain mere obsevers in paying or not paying our debts, driving a vehicle, working a job, raising children, etc. We can trust with Holy Spirit the right decision will be made as we allow ourselves to decide through Him. I think this is why ACiM repeatedly focuses on teaching trust.
Anonymous said…
I find that the day to day things we seem to do in the dream like sweeping sand from the driveway, taking a hike up a summit or driving to town to run an errand help in letting go of the mind's hold on whatever grievance, so that the Holy Spirit can teach through miracles that I am mind, and with release of grievance after grievance, guilt thought after guilt thought, my awareness grows and comes closer to accepting, this is all but a dream. Even some of my repetitive sleeping dreams that I remember as an observer have revealed my mind's healing. Not sure though what the four fluffy little kittens I dreamed about last night mean but no matter, I woke with a smile in the dream remembering a dream.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trevor colvin said…
Perhaps the hardest thing about this course for me is trying to put it into conventional words and conventional thoughts, which are simply inadequate or at least inappropriate. One can 'understand' but not explain.

For instance I understand when I wake from a (nocturnal) dream that is was a dream and I was in it and it was real for me at the time and I can reflect on it in those moments after waking. Yet to really feel that what I think is real when I am apparently awake, is also a dream and that I am the dreamer is harder to grasp. Logical, yes, but hard to really grasp. Trevor
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said…
I had to delete my comments. This is one of those subjects that it's best if I let everyone have their own opinion.
Christine said…
I guess we'll just have to "row, row, row your boat" until we choose again...
I've often wondered what Jesus meant when he said; "Ye are in the world, but not of it " We are in the waking dream, but not of it ? Thanks, Liz, for all your help. I'm studying daily your Workbook messages on my Kindle and also the daily Insights on Pathways of Light.Peace to you all, George.
nicci said…
i still spend much time twice removed from reality. progress toward retraining the mind to rest in awareness of my Inner Teacher, and allowing That to direct me, appears currently slowed as i navigate family crises. the false personal self asserts in the desire to change that with which appears heartbreaking to witness. seduced by the voice of discouragement, there is only forgiving again and again, returning again and again. it may be so that it requires no effort to be what I truly am, but the effort it is requiring to stop being what I am not . . .often overwhelms.
endless Love.
Anonymous said…
Excuse me for a second while I share this silly story. . . I am reminded of a car trip as a teenager, with 3 girlfriends to Virginia Beach. It was raining cats and dogs as we were approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Remembering feeling somewhat anxious, I looked to my left and no kidding, I swear I saw a pink elephant, I swear. So I said to everyone, look a pink elephant. Ya right Deb, pink elephant. Have another pot brownie. Why am I sharing this you ask, well I still carry that snapshot in my mind and I also carry the snapshot in my mind of eternity. One day I will let go of the snapshot (belief) of all the pink elephants I observe on this ride and with a head bob, wake to awareness that I must of dozed off for a second. With jubilation, the Son of God awakens to the snapshot of eternity. In the meantime however, I will just watch those pink elephants I ride by and through the tunnel of fear, trust, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
nicci said…
thank you anonymous.
ACIM Mentor said…
Trevor, you will never understand from within the dream that you are dreaming. You will, however, have experiences of Truth that lead you to see the dream is a dream. You can't make this happen. It will happen naturally when you are willing and ready.
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, George.
will said…
I had been led to Lesson 65 a few days ago. It has a mantra that says "This thought reflects a goal that is preventing me from accepting my only function." So I erased my comments.
Anonymous said…
Since there's no separation aren't we (and subsequently our dreams) just God's dream?

It's interesting that there are lucid dreamers who can "live" within their dreams and it makes ordinary waking reality less real for them as they see the similarity. My personal take is that even dreams are real, albeit only partial fragments of Infinite Reality like our lives. Still inseparable parts though and deserving of some credit in Reality, since Reality is creating it.

Will, we miss your comments. I read Lesson 65 and didn't see where it says to "delete your comments"... (kidding). Second mantra says: "On this clean slate let my true function be written for me." This comment box can be considered your "clean slate" so you're invited to post your true function here! :) -- Sagey
will said…
Somewhere in the course it says that over time we become less tolerant of ego thoughts. Recently that has begun to happen. Right now it is those thoughts that carry some negative emotional charge to them. I don't want to over think it. I'm being taught how the process works but it's still early going.
will said…
There are levels of understanding that have nothing to do with the ego. Each is deeper than the last. If you are willing or even interested the HS leads you through them.
will said…
Getting spiritual results kind of reminds me of dieting or exercise. I want the end result but if I don't muster the will to start or stay with it nothing happens. Back at Lesson 65 it says "This is part of the long-range disciplinary training your mind needs, so that the Holy Spirit can use it consistently for the purpose He shares with you."
That sounds a whole lot like going on a diet or starting to exercise every day.
will said…
I don't remember exactly how it took place but somewhere between 5-10 years of doing the course I read something about practicing or doing the course and I do remember clearly thinking "I'm supposed to do something?" All my efforts had been aimed at understanding what the course was saying.
will said…
Liz made a comment on last week’s blog that was really important and I don’t know how many people picked up on it so I will write it here.

“The first lessons in the workbook have you observe how your mind works. Then they get you in touch with your Holiness. Then around lesson 40 in the Workbook it begins to introduce the type of meditation where you observe your thoughts and you try to detach.”

In doing this the lessons are broken down into sections, almost like chapters in a book. There are so many lessons covering such a large area it is very difficult for the mind to retain (remember and catalogue) the information. If information is broken down into sections the mind can work with it. This led me to go back and look at the early lessons.
Sage Starfield said…
Will, when you say: "Getting spiritual results kind of reminds me of dieting or exercise. I want the end result but if I don't muster the will to start or stay with it nothing happens" I'm reminded of being blown away by Ken wilber's book The Atman Project in which he describes how we spend so much time and energy looking for God in ways that guarantee we'll never find It. Like you say, it's all about levels and we can't get there from here if here is our ordinary rational ego state which has us convinced it can't be right here right now which of course it always is! If we seek for some result we may never find it. Even "understanding It" might be an impossible quest. Noble to a point, but then must be dropped, since seeking implies there's something lacking in the Here/Now which of course there isn't. Only our perception that there's something lacking which must be found and yes this is what the Course would have us undo. Who's saying there's something outside ourselves which we must seek for? Ego trick? Probably. HS knows it's here and now and just has to get us out of conditioned (ego) way of thinking for us to realize it. Right Here Right Now! Right? Thanks for painting your true function on this canvas. : )
will said…
To 'Consistently' do the Four Habits to get spiritual results is hard work.

It’s just my opinion but by the time Ken Wilbur wrote the Atman Project he had come full circle to almost pure ego.
will said…
I guess what I'm trying to say it isn't about seeking or looking. The course is about mind training. It's about moving from theory to application. My mind wants training about as much as it wants to go on a diet. It depends on what your goals are. If you want what the course is pointing to you can't read a lesson that asks for active participation throughout the day, read it do it once and then forget it with the mind saying tomorrow is another day. Like starting to exercise:)
will said…
It's like labeling doing the lessons as seeking or looking.
Sage Starfield said…
At some point the mental gymnastics get tiring. Maybe then we can relax and just BE. And when we do that, is there any further goal?
ACIM Mentor said…
No, Sage, at that point you will be deliciously goal-less. It's wonderful to just BE in the moment, whole and complete. And you can take a break from the mental gymnastics now in the Holy Instant. The more you do that the more you realize "It's already here. There's nothing to seek." Then it's just a matter of remembering that and bringing yourself back to that again and again until it's where you rest all the time and watch the self's story continue to unfold.
will said…
Sage/Liz,
The mental gymnastics are exhausting and really don't feel good. I had understood they were a necessary evil in re-training the mind so that the Holy Spirit could clear away the blockage. I saw them as a period you go though to attain peace not as a permanent state. Perhaps I am wrong and can quit all this practicing. Thank God if that is true.
will said…
Not having to think about doing the 4 habits or lesson work on a consistent basis makes my mind say ahhhh, I can just rest in the Holy Instant. I'm always getting side tracked like this. Thank You.
will said…
I think everything I write on this blog is from the ego so it's accuracy is always questionable. But then that's part of the purpose of putting it out there, to get correction and feedback. I don't like the mental gymnastics, it's a great relief to put it all down. My mind hates discipline, it's ego after all.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, if you're not getting anything out of a practice you might as well ditch it. What's the point otherwise?
4HIP are about the Holy Instant. Opening to It in meditation and then remembering It throughout the day. There should be nothing forced in the practice. If it's hard work it's either not for you or not for you now.
will said…
OK, good advice, I'll ditch it and focus on meditation
will said…
And for clarification I didn't say I wasn't getting anything out of it. That was something you came up with. What I said was it was difficult because of the nature of the ego. It doesn't want change.
will said…
All I'm saying in regards to meditation is if being in the holy instant is all that is needed as you and sage are saying then that's all I'll do.
Christine said…
I woke up this morning and thought that the only true 'prayer' to the Holy Spirit is - "Please help me, I have this belief that I am separate." It was so clear. It's like, help me with the 'belief' that I am separate from my Source/Heaven, God, etc...not help me with this, that, or the other stuff going on in the dream...
will said…
I don’t know how many people bother to read the manual for teachers or have looked at it recently. There is a section called Development of Trust where the Holy Spirit describes doing the course in very concrete terms. My own interpretation is this thing we are doing is like climbing a mountain, step by step by painful step. It is not describing watching a movie of climbing a mountain from the comfort of your living room couch. It is about following directions so you stay on the path and don’t wander off on a tangent. So many people trying to do 12 Step but will not follow directions but want to create their own version of it so almost nobody makes it. It’s the same with the course. Very, very few people will realize the possibilities this course points to. My opinion. But at 10 years into this I’m still a baby and this baby has to stay Old School because I’m one of those who is going to make it.
Sage Starfield said…
Thanks Liz, sounds like we're on the same page here.

Will, our paths are all uniquely our own, so follow your heart like you're doing. I'm leary of "destination thinking" though, as I don't believe in any future arriving. It's all Here and Now and I just work with that in the Faith that it does some good and serves some purpose Here and Now. Future achievements are an ego trick in my humble opinion, but we have the free will to play that game if there's meaning in it for us. We're all spirit warriors here. Our imaginations are powerful learning tools. You will reach that summit (or realize you're There already - (same thing within semantic margin of error), slay the dragon and return triumphantly back to the village to celebrate your hero's welcome. Enjoy Every Moment! :)

Christine, sounds like to got to the crux of it!
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
hannahlily said…
will, i guess weve all felt like that brother. ive just had a whole week of it!

i have never 'drawn a card' from my acim quotes for anyone in this way, but i asked holy spirit if it would be helpful, and got a yes. maybe its only helpful for me.. but im sharing it here just in case it eases something for you also xx

here 'tis..

'it takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful'. M-p.10

so what your comments led to for me was helping me accept that its ok to let all things be as they are. so thank you.
Sage Starfield said…
That quote is relevant to me right now. thanks!
hannahlily said…
luv ya bro :)

Popular posts from this blog

Ask: Can you comment on the satisfaction of accomplishment as a trap?

The Two Spiritual Goals

An Example of Misusing the Specificity of ACIM