The Effects of Real Perception Become the New Normal

When this mind entered the “period of undoing”, or the first period in the Development of Trust discussed in A Course in Miracles (M-4.I.A), I experienced spiritual Vision through the Holy Relationship. This Vision is what is called, among other things, the “real world” in A Course in Miracles. In my translation of ACIM into plain language (The Message of A Course in Miracles) I called this Vision “Real Perception” because “real world” confused some students. They expected to see a different material world or for the material world to change. But Vision is a perception not of the eyes but of the mind. I can understand why It is called another “world” in that you perceive a different “reality”. But it is not concrete like what the eyes show you. It is, well, a perception. The best I can do is to describe It like a smile beyond the concrete world. But of course there is no smiling mouth seen! It simply cannot be adequately described. (To myself I just call It “the Vision thing”). But the experience of It is happy lightheartedness.

The body's eyes are therefore not the means by which the real world can be seen, for the illusions that they look upon must lead to more illusions of reality. And so they do. For everything they see not only will not last, but lends itself to thoughts of sin and guilt. While everything that God created is forever without sin and therefore is forever without guilt. (C-4.2)

At the time, Real Perception presented quite a stark contrast to what this mind was used to. It was wonderful and joyful, but it was also quite frightening because it was a perception that revealed Reality was not this world. And while I must’ve been ready to see This, I was not ready to stay in an awareness of It. Real Perception eventually faded to infrequent experiences. I didn’t understand it at the time, but my belief in guilt drew me back into the personal thought system (ego). I had only begun the process to lasting peace, which required I undo my belief in guilt. But my experiences of Real Perception altered the way that I perceived and experienced the universe of form as well, often in ways that I didn’t see. The effects of Real Perception on my perception of the world seeped in slowly and unconsciously without me realizing it. In time I just became aware that I didn’t see the world as others did, which was how I once saw it. And this difference only grew more stark as I grew my awareness of Truth and undid my belief in guilt.

For example, a few years ago a close friend of mine was going through a crisis. As she shared her experience with me I tried to step into her mindset to understand her point of view. But it made absolutely no sense to me. This was not an intellectual perception. In fact, intellectually I understood that she was looking at the situation through the filter of her low self-esteem and fear of abandonment, she was taking someone else’s attitudes personally, etc. I could remember having similar responses myself earlier in my life. But when I tried to step into the personal thought system (ego) I became disoriented; I felt like I’d fallen down the rabbit hole. At the time I didn’t understand why this occurred. I didn’t realize I’d advanced past the point where the personal thought system (ego) made experiential sense to me. All I knew was that I could no longer understand at all a point of view that I once shared. I supported my friend with sympathy but not with empathy.

The process begun so long ago with those first experiences of Real Perception has come full circle. Real Perception is now right here, just below my conscious awareness all the time, and easily accessible. Now I watch Real Perception transform my perception of the universe of form.

For example, a few weeks ago I attended a relative’s Confirmation in the Catholic Church. While the priests referred occasionally to how we are all “sinners” I did not hear this term in the “hell and damnation” sense. I heard it with a gentle shrug: “We are all imperfect as humans. So what?” I found the priests to be quite innocent and gentle and loving.

Toward the end of the service the parishioners prepared to take communion. I observed how solemn were the faces of those who lined up for the sacrament. And then I observed a different expression on their faces as they returned from the sacrament. I would not have been surprised to see humility on their faces. But I was surprised instead to see something else. At first I only distantly noticed something was “off”. I wasn’t giving it any thought. But when I turned to look down my pew I saw a man a few seats away looking in my direction. He had just returned from taking the sacrament and what I saw on his face was torment. In wonderment I looked back at the others returning from the sacrament and realized what I had been seeing on so many faces: Guilt.

“This world of light, this circle of brightness is the real world, where guilt meets with forgiveness. Here the world outside is seen anew, without the shadow of guilt upon it.” (T-18.IX.9)

Because I no longer believe in guilt Real Perception “bleeds through” and “washes” the world of form with Innocence for me. Subtly and quietly these effects of Real Perception have become my new normal.


I know your Innocence even if you don’t because It is mine as well. Guilt, and its effect, fear, are the obstacles to lasting Real Perception. Having undone the belief in guilt in my own mind I offer my experience to you. Email me at to set up an appointment. You can learn more at


Christine said…
This is great.I am monitoring my thoughts consciously now, like you at the confirmation in the Catholic Church ceremony...even when I listen to the radio, watch the news, or go on line, I now step back and see through from/behavior to , "oh, this is guilt", or this person is trying to assuage his or her guilt, etc. I don't 'condemn' right away like I used to...or criticize people's beliefs...took years of practice. I look at the world and everything going on as "factual, but not actual". I have tried to get the "personal sense me", and "how does this affect ME" out of the's helpful to just observe yourself observing.
This may be off topic, but it is what I took from your entry kind of knee jerk reaction-wise!
Frank C said…
Liz, you said: "I didn’t realize I’d advanced past the point where the personal thought system (ego) made experiential sense to me. All I knew was that I could no longer understand at all a point of view that I once shared. I supported my friend with sympathy but not with empathy.".... yes, this pretty much describes how I see the world today, and had been a source of conflict in me as I tried to deal with other people's distress... I could SEE what their problem was, but I just could not "feel it", and I would often think that this meant there was something wrong with me... another ego-trap to feel guilty about!!

And, Christine, your comment reflects a common thread in my life, too, and I've found that one of the biggest "gifts" I've received from "doing the Course" is that I now have a little space (and time) to NOT judge (or, at least, not to respond) when I'm observing so much "wrongness" in my reality... it is amazing how much "stuff" becomes irrelevant when I just let it be!

Peace on Earth...
Deb said…
So much validation souch gratitude.

Carinos, Deb
Kathy said…
Wow Liz, I can totally relate! I thank the Holy Spirit who has timed your message perfectly. I have been gradually shifting perception and then boom! Suddenly as of yesterday I began seeing the world smiling from behind the image. Everyone, everything, smiling, happy and childlike. I feel an instant oneness and connection with everyone. What I thought began this shift was my decision to begin perceiving through my feelings and emotions rather than my thoughts which were out of touch with that. Some would call it the emotional body. I noticed that when I started doing this I was able to know how people are feeling and their inclination for love, for joy. I feel direct connect with the world on a whole new level. I felt uplifting joy all day today and was able to really connect. And it was easy becaus le all I needed to do was shift into this feeling place within me and from that perspective look upon the world. And as I saw that emotional feeling place within others, I came to see and experience it in myself. Just as Jesus said it would be. I wouldn't have realized this was True Perception had you not explained it here, just as I was beginning to experience this. Thanks to your message I know I am on the right track and am motivated to continue doing this. I have also been telling myself that this is how we need to keep perceiving, that this is truth. We are feeling beings, beings of light, of Light, of Truth, of Love. It is real and for everyone to experience this!
will said…
Page 394 in the text. It could not have been written by anyone but our teacher.
hannah said…
i remember once going for a ride after studying acim, i cant recall the section, but it was about the real world. i lived in a beautiful area, and so a cardboard box in the drainage ditch on the side of the road stood out. as i approached it, i had 'naughty littering people' thoughts, but was astonished when what was printed on the side of the box was 'THE REAL WORLD'.. i flipped into gratitude and i saw beauty because of that. id already had a dream which showed me nothing would change but my vision, but that helped me to integrate that idea somewhat.

what is harder to understand and accpet is that 'I' wont change. in the higher miracle experiences, liz, it FELT as though i had changed.. i felt happy! but.. only my perception changed, right? then.. i must think i am my perception, not my mind?!?!
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, yes, your perception changed not you. So your experience of yourself changed but that didn't change you.
Unknown said…
We live in a world of seeming atrocities, becoming much closer home in the Uk now.What am I to do with it all? Jump down into the pit with it or to throw a rope (ACIM) to help them out.Is it all "factual but not actual"? I'm thankful ACIM teaches me to step back and to see it all as a cry for help in this dream of seeming separation from Love. Thanks, Liz,for the support you give us.

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