Freedom or Slavery

Space and Time are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we exist. - Einstein

This commentary presupposes you have completed topics 1 through 9

The purpose of this commentary is to explore a preciously held belief that we have an existence independent of Spirit or ego.  Among many A Course in Miracles (ACIM) students, it is subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, believed that the "decision maker/observer" is an independent entity.  This must be understood as impossible because the choice to forget Spirit, our reality, was and is the choice for the ego.  We (dissociated mind) thereby enter a "dream" state and experience: consciousness, perception, duality etc. In the illusory world of space-time we play out the ego's script of being separate in space, which includes a temporal dimension to facilitate the central ego theme of sin, guilt and fear:  The sin, that we believe occurred in the past; is psychologically experienced as the guilt we feel in the present; and this results in the fear of future punishment. The Course's mythology is detailed in (05)"The Foundation."  It is because we never look at how this belief is maintained (the ego's hidden agenda) that we are not motivated to let go of this insane belief.  It is impossible to experience the full effects of forgiveness without accepting that you are the dreamer of the dream of separation. Be assured that any fear or resistance you may be experiencing merely confirms your ego identification which is rightfully  threatened by such an undertaking. The very idea that you (observer mind) have a choice at all, is intolerable to the ego.  However, ego identification is a choice and not a fact and you (observer) are free to choose Spirit's voice if you are willing to "see" another way.

My own personal experience, and one I would like to share with you, is that by opening myself to the role of dreamer and seeing all relationships as figures in my dream, including the figure I call Caryl, a whole new experience of the world is being revealed to me. My willingness to accept and apply this fundamental Course idea has transformed what appeared to be a fearful meaningless world into an experience of healing and a deep sense of peace.

Lets take a closer look at what we believe we gain as loyal egos.  To put yourself in the proper frame of mind it will be helpful to review (07)"The Gift of Forgiveness" and the  Chart below.

A product of our ego thought system and a reflection of our secret dream of separation, the world dream is all we have known post the dissociation.  Believing it to be objective reality, our "lives" are spent defending this very strongly held belief. Let's examine the "gifts" of our cherished ego and see if our continued loyalty is justified.  This loyalty is supported by two main beliefs: (1) that we have an independent existence in a world with endless possibilities; and (2) that we can pursue things of pleasure and avoid those of fear. As a student of ACIM and follower of this website it should be very clear that the idea of an independent existence is impossible. All of our experiences merely reflect the purpose of our choice.  Unless you consciously choose Spirit, often referred to as right-minded thinking; you will experience the wrong-minded thoughts of the ego, as this is the default.  Sadly, the world looks the way it does because we all chose, and continue to choose, the ego, whose agenda has nothing to do with peace, love, joy and happiness or becoming all that we can be.  As stated in the Course: "It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and not find pain.  It is not really punitive at all.  It is but the inevitable result of equating yourself with the body, which is the invitation to pain.----Is not this inevitable?  Under fears orders the body will pursue guilt serving its master whose attraction to guilt maintains the whole illusion of its existence.  To you it (ego) teaches that the body's pleasure is happiness, yet to itself it whispers "It is death"." (T-19.IVB.12,13,14) If you equate yourself with the body your goal will be pain, suffering and death. This should hardly be surprising since these are the dominant experiences of people from every culture throughout "history." If you want to know what you really wanted to come of any situation, look no farther then your reaction to what you experienced. "When you think you are projecting what you do not want, it is still because you do want it."  (T-12.VII.7; pg.231)  Remember to look at content (emotional reaction) not "external" form.

Another important realization is the fact that no aspect of mind wants to solve problems in the world: To the ego "The world was made so that problems could not be escaped T-31.IV.2;" to Spirit there are no problems in the world, only seeming problems in the dreamer's mind which is where they must be corrected. Again I want to stress that there are only two possibilities in our dissociated state of mind.  If you choose to identify with the body, you will experience the ego's wrong-minded script; if you choose the voice representing your real self, Spirit's right-minded script will be your experience.  Choose the body and you choose a dream of death; choose Spirit and you become a happy learner in a healing dream.  So you see there is no middle ground.  You either continue to use the dream as your ego directs or you choose to let the "Holy Spirit" use the dream to teach you, through the forgiveness process, how to heal your mind and remember your Self.

The main difference between a dream world and a so called real world is the cause and effect relationship. In a dream you control everything, you are cause and your dreamworld is your effect.  It is only if you deny that you are the dreamer that you then become the victim of your own dream. This is the ego's frame-of-reference which sees the world as cause and we are its effect.  ACIM's frame-of-reference, seen through forgiveness, sees that we (dreamer) are cause and the dreamworld is our effect.

The Course asks us to honestly look at and respond to two important questions: "How willing are you to escape effects of all the dreams the world has ever had? Is it your wish to let no dream appear to be the cause of what it is you do?"  T-27.VIII.5.  Once you realize that the ego can, and does, bring only experiences of pain and suffering to you and that you can only gain by your willingness to let it go, you will be guided as to how to be in the world knowing you are not of the world. As the Course says: "Fear not that you will  be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality.T-16.VI.8"  "You will first dream of peace and then awaken to it.  Your first exchange of what you made for what you want is the exchange of nightmares for the happy dreams of love." T-13.VII.9 The first step in our awakening is to experience the happy dream.  This is what the Course refers to as the Real World.  It is still illusion, however, now, seen corrected through forgiveness, reflects the peace of God.

I would like to end with the following passage from the Teachers Manuel:

"Oneness and sickness cannot coexist. God's teachers choose to look on dreams a while.  It is a conscious choice.  For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences.  The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are?  Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God's teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die.  Yet they are not deceived by what they see.  They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful.  Unity alone is not a thing of dreams.  And it is this God's teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs." TM-12.6 pg. 32

As always I welcome your comments.