Of one thing you were sure: Of all the many causes you perceived as bringing pain and suffering to you, your guilt was not among them. (T-27.VII.7:4-5)

The story we have accepted about the world, how it came about and the resulting history that followed and continues to this day, is obviously very familiar to all of us. It states we are born into a world not of our making and our understanding of and response to every experience we have follows from that belief.

The Course turns this belief about the world on its head: `From effect of the world to cause of the world. And as mentioned above, our understanding of, and response to, every experience we have follow from this belief. All of our psychological, physical and spiritual experiences emanate from our fundamental belief, indeed every aspect of what we believe to be our life will be affected.

We therefore need experiences that justify our acceptance of the Course’s view.  And that is exactly what the Course is so brilliantly designed to provide. “The curriculum the Course proposes is carefully conceived and is explained, step by step, at both the theoretical and practical levels. It emphasizes application rather than theory, and experience rather than theology.  (Preface.2:1-2).

Below is my summary of the Course’s story of how the world came about.  It was taken from my essay: “The Foundation” which includes quotations from ACIM with page references. The value of any framework for understanding the world should be based on its ability to explain events in a meaningful and useful way; moving from a constant state of conflict, controversy and confusion to resolution and a peaceful state of mind. If this criteria is not satisfied you should be willing to accept another more meaningful framework.  A Course in Miracles and this website are for those who believe there must be a better way of understanding the world and are willing to open their minds to another framework for interpreting their experiences.

The miracle (shift of perspective) is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand. Yet faith will bring its witnesses to show that what it rested on is really there. And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it, and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before; a world redeemed from what you thought was there. (W-pII.13.4:1-3)

Throughout history we have irrationally rationalized our experiences of a world where all life is threatened by disease, violence and devastating endless wars. Where world-wide barbaric behavior by so-called sane people is routinely inexplicably explained. We normalize the dominant experience of pain and suffering; of psychological feelings of fear, depression and anxiety. “Natural” disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and droughts are justified in various ways, consistent with our beliefs. It seems we can but fight to stay afloat in this world, for we are effect and do not understand the cause. Since this has been our experience throughout history, we seem forced to accept it as a fact of life. We can only look back and somehow explain, within the limits of our understanding, what must have happened. The unfortunate result of this circular way of thinking has been to reinforce the belief that perpetuates our experience.  Problems cannot be solved by using the same system of thinking that created them.

Although a part of your mind will likely feel threatened by your willingness to challenge your long held belief about the world; your judgment should rest solely on this new perspective’s ability to explain the world to you in a meaningful way.  Specifically its ability to give you new insight as to the ontological cause of evil in the world. Forget not that the witness to the world of evil cannot speak except for what has seen a need for evil in the world.  (T-27.VII.6:2-3)  As you read this story and look at the world from this understanding, you will realize the resulting world of evil was inevitable! Given the extremely fearful state-of-mind from which it arose, what else could have come of it?

Please read the following slowly and perhaps more than once.

In its attempt to explain our experiences to us, all belief systems tell a story which generally includes the origin of ourselves and world.  As I have noted in previous essays, while scientists have discovered what is known as the “physical laws of nature,” these laws govern only the behavior of physical phenomena not their origin. They are set up to protect the continuity of the ego thought system that made them. What follows describes the origin of, and motivation behind the “making of the world.”

An aspect of mind entertains the thought of separation from the Mind of its Creator. Desiring to experience a separate existence, the thought becomes a belief. While this is, of course, impossible to accomplish in reality, the thought has produced consequences, resulting in experiences of enormous and continuous pain and suffering in this aspect of mind. This aspect of mind has chosen to dissociate from its Self, its Creator, its Reality. In other words, it merely chooses to forget or deny Reality and make up and identify with an alternate system of thinking. I will call this thought system the ego. This produces unimaginable guilt in this aspect of mind and unbearable conflict, because the minds Real Thoughts are also in its mind. This situation is intolerable, so the insane ego thoughts are projected from the mind’s real thoughts. All thoughts in this dissociated aspect of mind (the part of mind we identify with) are images made by our mind which are then projected "outward." These projected images make an illusory world, which appears to be outside our mind as in a dream. Thus was the world made as an attack on God and our dissociated mind consumed by guilt. “Guilt is more than merely not of God. It is the symbol of attack on God.” (T-5.V.2:9-11)

Guilt, as the Course refers to it, is the psychological experience arising from the belief one has done something which they believe to be unforgivable, sometimes referred to as sin! The ego’s defense of this overwhelming feeling of guilt is to deny or repress this belief. And whenever something is denied, it is inevitably projected onto some one or thing in the world, or it can be projected onto ones self in the form of sickness. The form this guilt takes includes any expression of negativity, from the mildest ho hum to violent rage. In other words, our purpose for the world is not peace, love, joy and happiness. We (dissociated aspect of mind) are using the world as a place to project our guilt in an attempt to get rid of it. However, instead of getting rid of the excruciating pain of guilt and fear, we deny its origin in our mind, where it must be corrected, and experience it in an illusory world of pain suffering and death.

After years of training my mind to think consistent with the Course’s teaching, the ubiquitous experiences of violence, anger and endless wars that left me in a state of despair, are now seen as extremely important to healing my mind, restoring it to a state of peace. This understanding has given new meaning and purpose to the world and my role in it. Though this world is a perceptual, not an objective world, it is real in the sense that it is the world I perceive.  In fact the course refers to the world seen from this perspective as the “real world,”  not Reality which cannot be perceived, but corrected perception. The Course teaches us how this correction is obtained as we go through our daily experiences in the world with all of our relationships.

When you have learned how to decide with God (Right-mind), all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer. Only your own volition seems to make deciding hard. The Holy Spirit (Voice for God in our Right-Mind) will not delay in answering your every question what to do. He knows. And He will tell you, and then do it for you. You who are tired will find this is more restful than sleep. For you can bring your guilt into sleeping, but not into this. (T-14.IV.6:1-8)

As always I welcome your comments or questions.

See also “History is an effect not a Cause.”