Do I even know what the heck the world even is and how to look at it and forgive it?
"The world is horribly cruel."
What kind of a statement is this? What's happening in the mind? Is the world inherently cruel, or is this some kind of judgement?
Certainly a sentiment of accusation, blame, finger-pointing, hating, anger, etc towards the world for "being the way it is", is a combination of the world plus a projected attack thought.
"I can escape from the world (the horrible interpretation of the world) by giving up attack thoughts."
If we take away the attack thought, ie the judgement, what remains of the world? Is it still cruel? If bodies are still dying and people are still screaming, is it still cruel? Is it cruel if your interpretation of the meaning of the scene is different?
We are asked not to be DECEIVED BY the world, which means the world is potentially deceptive. We must recognize it as false or as a neutral mirror. "The only effort you need make, to give this world away in glad exchange for what you did NOT make is willingness to learn THE ONE YOU MADE IS FALSE."
But at the same time we're being asked to love it and forgive it. If the world is cruel somehow, that would suggest it is unforgivable. How can you overlook a murder scene or a slaughterhouse?
But are such things cruel because they are, or because we say they are? Have we given it a meaning of "that's cruel"? Is it fundamental to what's there? Are we to look upon a slaughterhouse with laughter and happiness as we regard how shiny and beautiful and new the dismembered bodies seem to be? Or, would we perhaps indeed not even SEE these images?
"What if you recognized this world is a hallucination? What if you REALLY understood you made it up? What if you realized that those who SEEM to walk about in it, to sin and die, attack and murder and destroy themselves, are WHOLLY unreal? Could you have FAITH in what you see, if you ACCEPTED this? AND WOULD YOU SEE IT? Hallucinations disappear when they are RECOGNIZED for what they are."
Is not the real world an attempt to look upon the same world which you regarded as cruel, but without the judgement that it is cruel? To still see the slaughtering but "with love and happiness"?
Can you remain in happiness and peace in the face of such a scene? Maybe. ACIM clearly wants us to look at how awful and hopeless "the world" is. But it also clearly wants us to forgive. Does this forgiveness enable us to still see the same stuff but in a happier way? Can heaven gloss over the world's chaos and make it seem somehow a reflection of perfection? How can "Earth can reflect heaven or hell" work? How can earth, a false world, a cruel slaughterhouse, be seen to reflect heaven?
To love it IN SPITE of itself? To detach the "how do I see it" from the "what is there to look at"? To love regardless of the miserable scene? "They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. "
"This world of light, this circle of brightness, is the real world, where guilt meets with forgiveness. Here, the world OUTSIDE is seen anew, WITHOUT the shadow of guilt upon it."
So, we take away some kind of guilt "layer" that we were projecting onto the physical world, the false world, and thus lift "hell" away from it. But it remains sort of hell-like given its continued slaughtering. But somehow the lack of guilt "for doing so" renders it lovely and lovable?
"God DOES love the real world, and those who perceive its reality CANNOT see the world of death."
What is the world of death? Earth in its falseness of form, or the layer of projected guilt upon it? And in essence isn't he saying then that the real-world state of mind is so filled with reinterpretation and translation of the slaughterhouse, that every single aspect of it seems SOMEHOW just wonderful and lovable? Which prevents you even seeing any sign of "that's a death" interpretation, replaced with "that's a beautiful image of a body in a certain state" interpretation?
"God gave you the real world in exchange for the one you made, out of your split mind, and which IS the symbol of death."
Ok so now there's a world that was "made" (seemingly long-term, like an objective earth), which symbolizes death... indeed earth's cruel-seeming system symbolizes punishment and suffering and destruction. So the real world "replaces" this somehow. Yet the real world looks UPON what we made to replace it, or translates it, into this vision of the real world.
"The end of the world is not its destruction, but its TRANSLATION into Heaven. The RE-INTERPRETATION of the world is the transfer of ALL perception to knowledge."
So.... take the cruel-seeming death-symbolizing world of earth, the physical, and remove the projected guilt from it, by undoing the guilt in your own mind, and now you'll see that same world anew in another light. "You HAVE been wrong about the world, because you have misjudged YOURSELF. From such a twisted reference point, what COULD you see?"
So you made a world (earth) AND mis-judged it, which made it seem to reflect hell. And now you are to re-judge it with the holy spirit to see that it reflects heaven somehow?
"Earth can reflect Heaven or hell; God or the ego. You need but leave the mirror clean, and clear of all the images of hidden darkness you have drawn upon it. God will shine upon it of Himself. Only the clear reflection OF Himself can BE perceived upon it."
So if you stop projecting guilt crap onto earth, it somehow becomes "clean" in some way such that it CAN reflect, and now you see God's reflection/image in it.
"Yet in the present love is obvious, and its effects apparent. All the world shines in reflection of its holy light, and I perceive a world forgiven at last."
And being in the present is required.
"Yet forgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence. It is the reflection of God's Love on earth."
"The world I see is hardly the representation of loving thoughts. It is a picture of attack on everything and by everything. It is anything but a reflection of the Love of God and the love of His Son. It is my own attack thoughts which give rise to this picture. My loving thoughts will save me from this perception of the world, and give me the peace God intended me to have."
"Then let the Son of God awaken from his sleep, and opening his holy eyes return again to bless the world he made. In error it began. But it will end in the reflection of his holiness. And we will sleep no more and dream of death."
So the vibe here seems to be 1) you made the world earth, and 2) you hated it initially which made it seem like hell and 3) you forgive it and see it with light and in the present and suddenly it seems to reflect heaven, regardless of its strange twisted ways and forms, which this higher vision immediately glosses over and does not dwell upon?
"It is His holiness that lights up Heaven, and that brings to earth the pure reflection of the light above, wherein are earth and Heaven joined as one." "In His perception of the world, nothing is seen but justifies forgiveness and the sight of perfect sinlessness. Nothing arises but is met with instant and complete forgiveness. Nothing remains an instant, to obscure the sinlessness that shines unchanged, beyond the pitiful attempts of specialness to put it out of mind, where it MUST be, and light the BODY up INSTEAD of it."
"Only the body makes the world seem real, for being separate it could not remain where separation is impossible. Forgiveness proves it is impossible because it sees it not. And what you then will overlook will not be understandable to you, just as its presence once had been your certainty." So... this "seeing it not"... perhaps is like you so very lightly see the body that you barely notice it and you don't focus on it and you see through it to the light. This is "overlooking" which is forgiveness, which really means "not to see what isn't really there".
"It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees."
This vision "looks upon" everyone/circumstances/happenings/events meaning, those which are occurring in the physical world still, but they are so lightly seen that the vision still remains transfixed upon the light beyond them?
"The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God's Word has promised us that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently, if His promises are to be accepted. What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this."
So by him saying the world is a fact he's talking about the physical world.... and then is saying that we have to find a way to look at differently - a better way of looking at it, a more forgiving loving way, which causes it to be seen SOOOOO extremely differently that it doesn't seem like an evil world at all. Or shall we say, false, but forgiven? Unreal, but harmless?
So forgiveness/vision/true perception/salvation/the real world/the world God loves/the forgiven world is a different way of seeing the world we made, from a loving vantage point unlike the world, which changes how the world "strikes us", including categorizing its forms as FALSE, without accusation, while also overlooking them and seeing only a reflection of truth in them. God loves the re-interpreted version of the world, but not the version we see in false perception. This same world that we HATE, can somehow be seen with LOVE. And its hatefulness and harmfulness can be lifted from it.
"Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the Face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house? No-one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation. Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice which its values would demand of him."
The slaughter-house was only seen AS a slaughter house when we were slightly lacking in our loving vision? When we've risen fully above the battlefield without condemning the falseness of the world, we thus "forgive" it and see the reflection of christ in it. We don't dip down into the fragmented conflicting experience of the world, we remain floating just above its surface appearances.
"The world in infancy is newly born. And we will watch it grow in strength and health to shed its blessing upon all who come to learn to cast aside the world they thought was made in hate to be love's enemy. Now are they all made free along with us. Now are they all our brothers in God's Love."
"For He Who LOVES the world is seeing it FOR you, without one spot of sin upon it, and in the innocence which makes the sight of it as beautiful as Heaven."
"In kind forgiveness will the world sparkle and shine, and everything you once thought sinful now will be re-interpreted as part of Heaven. How beautiful it is to walk, clean and redeemed and happy, through a world in bitter need of the redemption that your innocence bestows upon it!"
So ultimately what it all seems to say is that 1) We made a world in hate which produced the physical world with its forms 2) We judged it with ego to experience it as hell and label it as cruel and other made-up meanings 3) we must find a way to love that same world we made and forgive it and not condemn it, so that we can experience it through a more loving vision and regard it as in fact harmless and beautiful and a seeming reflection of heaven. So that you can even EXPERIENCE EARTH AS HEAVEN-LIKE even while you're in this world.
"And what SEEMED ugly, in the darkness of your LACK of reason, is suddenly released to loveliness. Not even what the Son of God made in insanity, could be without a hidden spark of beauty, that gentleness could release."
"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 here. There are no cries of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing here remains outside forgiveness. And the sights are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds can reach the mind that has forgiven itself."
You mean to say, after all this time, I have to actually love the goddam world that I thought was cruel and hell?!!!!!! WTF. Hah.