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 Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment. You can learn more at www.acimmentor.com.