Thursday, March 12, 2009

8. What is the Real World? Lesson 291 This is a day of stillness and of peace.

Lesson 291

Section 8. What is the Real World?

The real world is a symbol, like the rest of what perception offers. Yet it stands for what is opposite to what you made. Your world is seen through eyes of fear, and brings the witnesses of terror to your mind. The real world cannot be perceived except through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see a world where terror is impossible, and witnesses to fear can not be found.

The real world holds a counterpart for each unhappy thought reflected in your world; a sure correction for the sights of fear and sounds of battle which your world contains. The real world shows a world seen differently, through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace. Nothing but rest is there. There are no cries of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing there remains outside forgiveness. And the sights are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.

What need has such a mind for thoughts of death, attack and murder? What can it perceive surrounding it but safety, love and joy? What is there it would choose to be condemned, and what is there that it would judge against? The world it sees arises from a mind at peace within itself. No danger lurks in anything it sees, for it is kind, and only kindness does it look upon.

The real world is the symbol that the dream of sin and guilt is over, and God's Son no longer sleeps. His waking eyes perceive the sure reflection of his Father's Love; the certain promise that he is redeemed. The real world signifies the end of time, for its perception makes time purposeless.

The Holy Spirit has no need of time when it has served His purpose. Now He waits but that one instant more for God to take His final step, and time has disappeared, taking perception with it as it goes, and leaving but the truth to be itself. That instant is our goal, for it contains the memory of God. And as we look upon a world forgiven, it is He Who calls to us and comes to take us home, reminding us of our Identity which our forgiveness has restored to us.

Lesson 291

This is a day of stillness and of peace.

Christ's vision looks through me today. His sight shows me all things forgiven and at peace, and offers this same vision to the world. And I accept this vision in its name, both for myself and for the world as well. What loveliness we look upon today! What holiness we see surrounding us! And it is given us to recognize it is a holiness in which we share; it is the Holiness of God Himself.

This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself. I do not know the way to You. But You are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.

The Following is Forwarded from

-Lesson 291
"This is a day of stillness and of peace."

Stillness and peace are our natural condition. They describe the state in which we were created. The chaos, confusion and conflict of this world are the effect of believing in the illusion that we are separate from our Creator, our Source. We can return to our natural condition by simply giving up our belief in what could never be. Belief makes experience. If we believe that we are separate, we experience all the effects, all the fear and guilt that come with believing we are separate. This need not be.

We experience this world of separation because we chose it. But in any moment we can choose differently. We need only recognize that this world truly offers us nothing that we really want. It seems insane that we would choose a world of pain and suffering. And it is insane. But in our insanity, we do not recognize that we are choosing pain and suffering. We think we are choosing independence, individuality and control of our 'lives,' which can be summed up as choosing specialness. In our insanity we do not realize that in choosing to be separate from our Source, which is our strength and our Life, we are choosing weakness and death.

The seeming complexity of the ego thought system, with its countless images, was made to disguise that we are choosing against our happiness and peace. Consequently, though the choice is simple, it is not easy because we have come to place great value in the images we believe are real. We must be taught that these images offer us nothing of value, and in fact, stand as a barrier against the stillness and peace that is our natural condition.

To be taught, we must be willing to be taught. The entire message of the Course is summed up in the introduction. But we need the remaining 1200 pages to bring us to the recognition that the world we thought was so valuable is not what we want. For most of us, it comes gradually. Little by little we see one aspect or another of what we have valued as not bringing us what we want. We become willing to let it go.

We accelerate this process by developing the practice of bringing every image we have in this world to the Holy Spirit and asking for His interpretation, His meaning. In the beginning it seems that we only are willing to bring to Him the things we perceive as painful. Gradually we begin to realize that even the forms in this world that seem to bring us pleasure have a hidden cost that keeps us from recognizing the joy and peace of Heaven that is our inheritance. And so we become more willing to bring all perceptions to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to decide for us what it means.

We ask Him to decide for God on our behalf in all things. As we let the Holy Spirit decide for God for us, He undoes the effects of all our mistaken choices, freeing us from guilt. This is how we have a day of stillness and peace.

The sentence that stands out to me in this lesson is: "This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me." My practice today is to open my mind to the Holy Spirit's quietness, the Holy Spirit's peace of mind.

In order to do this, it helps for me to pay attention to the thoughts I am accepting into my mind. I need to be vigilant to my level of peace. I need to be vigilant to keeping my mind open to receive the Thoughts that the Holy Spirit is always offering me.

Today is a day of practice. Today is a day of accepting the Holy Spirit's perception with every experience I have today. Today is a day of accepting the truth and letting go of the ego's false ideas.

My first thought as I read this lesson is that today was going to be a real challenge. This is going to be a very busy day with hardly a moment to catch my breath. I wondered how I could experience stillness and peace under those conditions.

Then I thought that these are the conditions under which I most need stillness and peace. I think that it must be possible to have peace at all times, I just have never chosen to do this. I will work on this lesson today and truly seek peace.

This is just another example of living in the illusion but knowing that I am not the illusion. I will be very busy as I take care of the illusion, but will be at peace while I do it, knowing that God is in charge of this, too.

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