Correcting "this is not real" Mistakes
A Course in Miracles reminds us that only the Truth is true (only God is real). Truth (formless Being) is Reality. The universe of form is not-Truth or is not reality. You come to understand this not through your intellect but through what I call a “higher” miracle. These are shifts in your perception where you actually experience the Truth as true and you see that the universe of form is not real. Sometimes the focus of the higher miracle is more on one or the other of these but what’s essential to understand is this is an experience not just an intellectual acceptance of an idea, or belief.
Here are three mistakes students make applying the idea “this is not real” to the world:
First, students try to apply this idea without having experienced it. This leads to feeling depressed and de-motivated: “Why should I bother doing anything when it isn’t real?” Until you have experiences that show you that the universe of form is not real just forget about applying this idea. You cannot apply it without misusing it unless you have experienced it. What you can do is be open to having experiences that show you that the world is not real. Instead of focusing on “this is not real” focus instead on growing your awareness of Truth in your everyday life. Your trust in Truth will grow and this will prepare you to have experiences that show you What is real and what is not real.
The actual shift that occurs from the experience of a higher miracle is release from guilt and fear. It is a joyful, uplifting experience. When you realize that you cannot affect Truth with anything that you do or do not do in the world you feel set free to allow the self to do what is authentic to it without judgment. It takes many higher miracles for this awareness to sink in, however. Right after a higher miracle you may experience the ego’s (personal thought system’s) resistance and feel de-motivated and depressed for a while. But you can always counter these by remembering the liberation that you experienced at the time of the miracle. Once you have experienced a higher miracle you have a basis to start applying “this is not real” by remembering the higher miracle.
Another mistake that students commonly make is to try to apply “this is not real” to singular events or circumstances. “How can I see this horrible event is not real?” What you imply to your mind is that only this “bad” event is not real but everything else is real. It is impossible for your mind to accept this division. And it is also not an appropriate application. When you have an experience of “this is not real” it encompasses the whole universe of form, not just certain aspects of it. You must be willing to turn away from all illusion, not just those aspects that you judge as “bad”.
The third mistake is closely related to this last one. Students try to see that an event or circumstance, or even the entire universe of form, is not real while looking right at it. I don’t mean looking at it with the body’s eyes, because what the eyes report is neutral and has no meaning in itself. Students look right at their interpretation of the event or circumstance and at the same time try to see it is not real. But looking at it and interpreting it is exactly how you make it real to you! You cannot give illusion meaning and at the same time see it is not real. You cannot detach from illusion with the thought system that is part of it. You cannot be in the midst of illusion and see it is an illusion. You must step into the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) to see that illusion is illusion.
In practice this means you have to be willing to turn your mind away from illusion and inward to Truth. Instead of focusing on what is not real, you must look toward What is Real. The body’s eyes may continue to report the same forms but your mind will shift toward Truth. The personal thought system’s interpretation will fall away and you will see the forms that the body’s eyes report as insignificant.
In fact, it is always best for you to allow the awareness “this is not real” to arise spontaneously. It will do so as you grow your awareness of Truth. If you have had experiences of seeing the universe of form is not real you can try to invite the experience again by applying “this is not real”, but if you do not experience a shift then stop trying. Instead, turn to Truth and the awareness will come.
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