Section 3. What is the World?
The world is false perception. It is born of error, and it has not left its source. It will remain no longer than the thought that gave it birth is cherished. When the thought of separation has been changed to one of true forgiveness, will the world be seen in quite another light; and one which leads to truth, where all the world must disappear and all its errors vanish. Now its source has gone, and its effects are gone as well.
The world was made as an attack on God. It symbolizes fear. And what is fear except love's absence? Thus the world was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him. Here was perception born, for knowledge could not cause such insane thoughts. But eyes deceive, and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become quite possible, for certainty has gone.
The mechanisms of illusion have been born instead. And now they go to find what has been given them to seek. Their aim is to fulfill the purpose which the world was made to witness and make real. They see in its illusions but a solid base where truth exists, upheld apart from lies. Yet everything that they report is but illusion which is kept apart from truth.
As sight was made to lead away from truth, it can be redirected. Sounds become the call for God, and all perception can be given a new purpose by the One Whom God appointed Savior to the world. Follow His light, and see the world as He beholds it. Hear His Voice alone in all that speaks to you. And let Him give you peace and certainty, which you have thrown away, but Heaven has preserved for you in Him.
Let us not rest content until the world has joined our changed perception. Let us not be satisfied until forgiveness has been made complete. And let us not attempt to change our function. We must save the world. For we who made it must behold it through the eyes of Christ, that what was made to die can be restored to everlasting life.
This holy instant is salvation come.
What joy there is today! It is a time of special celebration. For today holds out the instant to the darkened world where its release is set. The day has come when sorrows pass away and pain is gone. The glory of salvation dawns today upon a world set free. This is the time of hope for countless millions. They will be united now, as you forgive them all. For I will be forgiven by you today.
We have forgiven one another now, and so we come at last to You again. Father, Your Son, who never left, returns to Heaven and his home. How glad are we to have our sanity restored to us, and to remember that we all are one.
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"This holy instant is salvation come."
Salvation, release from the world of separation and limitation, is available every day, in every instant. It comes with true forgiveness. It is no accident that Part II of the Workbook begins with "What is forgiveness?" When we recognize that there is truly nothing to forgive, that nothing has occurred to change the Son of God in any way, we will know complete release from the world. It will disappear because the thought that made it is gone.
Forgiveness is the means, the only means, through which we are released to return to our Home, in the Heaven of God's Arms. That is what it means in the introduction to the Course that this is a required course. We must all, in one way or another, come to realize that only Love is real and nothing else exists. This is what forgiveness brings us. Forgiveness lets us see that what we thought we were apart from God could never be and never has been. This clears the way for us to see the Love that is our brother and our Self. The words and means used to reach this awareness do not matter. The Course is one way to find It. But even this we must let go of and come with wholly empty hands and an open heart and mind to our Creator. This is what the Course calls forgiveness.
The inner Teacher given me by God will come to me in every moment when I am willing to accept that I, of myself, know nothing. I, in unity with the Holy Spirit, know everything. To experience this unity, I must relinquish the desire for a special and unique identity. As I give this desire to the Holy Spirit, He returns a gift to me of immeasurable value. He returns my Self to me, along with all God's glory, His joy, His peace and His Love. In this holy instant is salvation come.
This lesson speaks to me of the power of now. Because in reality there is no past and future, now is all there is. Now I would open to the Holy Spirit and let the veil be lifted. It is only in this false world of separation that there appears to be a choice as to when I choose to let the veil be lifted.
Once the veil is lifted, there is only God. God is. Love is. There is nothing else. The choice for returning to God can only be now. Only God is now. Illusions are nothing and nowhere. Nothing really matters but awareness of the truth, awareness of God, awareness of Love. Love is eternal so Love is now.
So now I open my mind and let all my fears be dissolved in Heaven's holy Light. Now I open to the certainty of God and let all doubts disappear. The answer to every problem is in my mind now as I open to the Holy Spirit. Where do I place my trust? I place my trust in God, now. What joy there is today!
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