Every Sunday I study A Course in Miracles with a group of friends. We’ve been doing this for a few years; it’s our third time through the text.
Personally, I keep choosing to re-read ACIM because I get something new each time I read it. There has been no text that helps me understand our power of creation better than ACIM.
The #1 message I get from ACIM: This whole existence is an illusion. It’s the same “you create your reality” message that Abraham (Esther Hicks) offers, but with a different tone.
What does it mean, “an illusion?” Well, Jesus spends 31 chapters explaining it in ACIM, so I won’t expect to give a concise explanation in one blog post. But I will do my best to take your understanding a step further than it was before.
The human mind cannot comprehend what’s beyond the illusion. A more helpful question is, “If I accept that this existence is an illusion, what do I do with that information?” Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.
The first thing not to do is act as if none of this matters because it isn’t real. You’ve heard people say that, right? As if choosing not to participate makes them spiritually superior? But it doesn’t. After all, we all chose to come here and participate in this illusion, so it must matter in some way. Opting out of the illusion isn’t the enlightened thing to do – opting out is a waste.
The next thing not to do is focus on shattering or transcending the illusion. It’s a much longer journey than you might imagine, and you would make it longer by putting all of your attention on what’s beyond the illusion, because the more that you do so, the more that you affirm the existence of the illusion. It’s like when Abraham says, “The more you focus on what you want, the more you manifest the not having of it.”
A Course in Miracles says that as long as a person still gets pulled into fear sometimes, that person’s mind is split, and a split mind cannot transcend the illusion. The best that mind can do is have moments of greater clarity within the illusion, but that person is still living within the illusion.
The right-minded thing to do with the illusion, therefore, is to embrace it. Stop trying to escape it, and make the most of it instead.
Treat it like a lucid dream, where you get to choose what comes next. Get really good at creating the best damn illusion possible.
Don’t like what you’re dreaming? Change it.
Don’t like how you feel? Do what it takes to feel better.
Instead of letting the dream dream you, take charge of it. That’s what affirmations, mantras, and vision boards are for: They are ways that we change our thoughts to re-write the dream.
The idea that you are creating your illusion doesn’t stop being true because of what the other characters in the dream of doing. You are writing their roles too.
(ACIM says that those people don’t even exist – they are projections of your own thinking. Which means that in writing this post to “you,” I’m really just writing what I need to learn. And even if you comment, it’s me replying to me.)
The idea that this is an illusion also doesn’t stop being true because the consequences you fear are more extreme or widespread. It only means that your mind is really, really attached to that illusion.
Don’t like the violence in your world? Dream about peace.
Don’t like the injustice in your experience? Bring more justice into it, in whatever small ways you can.
When you focus on what’s happening to other people and assume it will also happen to you, you are letting the dream dream you instead of invoking your power to change it.
Yes, it’s harder to stay in your power when fear comes knocking at your door. Pandemic, injustice, or violence may be part of your illusion right now. Even if it’s not happening to you but you’re watching people around you go through it, then it’s part of the illusion your mind is creating.
In fact, when you witness something (good or bad) happen to another person, that’s the illusion showing you what’s in your thoughts. You can use that as a warning to change your thoughts if you don’t want to experience it, such as with sickness or violence or losing a job. But if it’s something you want to experience – like if your friend wins the lottery – then you know to keep doing what you’re doing because your desired experience is on its way.
My illusion is full of things that I want to experience, and contains very few things I wouldn’t consciously choose. As for the latter, I constantly dig to change the thoughts that create those experiences, and those experiences do change.
For example, I go out into the world and know I’m safe from virus, assault, and insult. I do not let being human or a woman make me feel weak, and because I do not feel weak, I do not experience attack of any kind – not verbal, physical, or viral.
To have that level of control over your illusion does not happen overnight. It takes lots of practice to master your own thoughts, and it takes deep healing of the fears and conditioning which try to tell you that you are not in control.
If you’d like a place to start, here’s what I suggest: Listen to your own words – the ones you say out loud and the ones you think to only yourself. Accept that every word you think and say matters, and when you hear yourself say something that doesn’t match the life you wish to live, stop yourself mid-thought and change it. This is how I got started, and early on I probably sounded like an idiot as I restated the same thought three different ways to find the one that felt more aligned with what I wanted to be true. Over time (years) I became someone who no longer had to correct my own thinking because it came out right the first time.
That’s how mastery of your life illusion happens – and that’s how it continues: with in-the-moment awareness of what you can do differently, and actually making the changes based on that awareness.