Making sense of quotes about "the world"

Wednesday, Nov 01, 2023 3628 words 16 mins 7 secs1 comments
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

In A Course in Miracles, there are many things said using the term "world." Much of this is confusing as to WHICH world it is referring. In helping to sort this out, let's identify the possible worlds. WORLD #1: God personally extended himself as His Kingdom, which in a sense is a world God created. This is the sonship, God's one son, the Kingdom of Heaven.

WORLD #2: There was a separation event in which this world was OPPOSED in EVERY way, producing what seemed to be a SECOND world. This is sometimes referred to as spacetime, sometimes as Earth, sometimes as a lower-order reality, sometimes as "the world you made", and sometimes as a second "thought system."

Since world #2 is really opposite to world #1 in every way ("Earth, which is heaven's opposite in every way"), it is opposite to reality, opposite to existence, opposite to everything. Therefore, it is not real, it does not exist, and it is nothing. Being nothing, it acts like it's a neutral empty screen. Its emptiness or "lack of God"

allows it to "take on" meanings that are given to it ie projected onto it. Having no meaning of its own, being the opposite of all meaning, it is a meaningless world. As nothing, it can act like a mirror.

World #3: Given the empty void and illusion of nothing of World #2, it now becomes possible to write UPON World #2 whatever meaning we want it to have. This is where perception comes in. Within World #2, the body is made to have something to perceive WITH, and now perceives World #2 exclusively. It cannot see past it to World #1. But the MIND is really anchored in World #1 and can potentially see past World #2.

The mind GIVES MEANING TO whatever the body shows it, from World #2. But World #2 has NO meaning still. This INTERPRETED TRANSLATION of World #2, is World #3. Where what you project, you perceive. What meaning you give, you see "in it". What you want to see IN the mirror of World #2, you PUT THERE, and then you see it. This is a subjective view of World #2 at all levels.

Within the context of World #3, you either can project meaning from your ego, or from the Holy Spirit. You can project love or hate, peace or war, light or darkness. BOTH are still within the realm of perception and projecting. BOTH are still subjective translations. BOTH still have to GIVE what you want to see "in" the world, because the world itself really has nothing of its own. Even when you give the World #2 a projection of heaven and experience it as World #3, a translated version of World #2, it is still just a reflection in the neutral nothing mirror of World #2. In order to fully embrace God and reality you have to leave World #2 and go back to World #1, which means leaving the body.

World #3 then is an attempt to "look for" certain things in World #2 and pick them out. To choose what to focus on. "Earth can reflect heaven or hell, God or the ego". You can project God onto it and see God's reflection in it, which is very loving and peaceful and happy. But this is not the same as knowing God in World #1 because the place where you see the reflection is still the unreal World #2. If in ego, in false perception, you can focus on form and separation and differences and so on. If in the Holy Spirit in true perception, you can "see the real world", the forgiven world, reflected in the world - the aspects of it which symbolically seem to be heaven-like and unified.

We could say that the ego's false perception of World #2, is World #3A. The Holy Spirit's true perception of World #2, is World #3B. So now let's look at some worldly quotes and we can categorize them in terms of WHICH world they are talking about.

WORLD #1 - Heaven:

"The world (World #1), as defined above, WAS made as a natural grand division, or projecting outward of God. That is why everything which He Created is like Him."

"This aching world (World #2) has not the power to touch the living world (World #1) at all."

"Heaven (World #1) remains your one alternative to this strange world you made (World #2) and all its ways; its shifting patterns and uncertain goals, its painful pleasures and its tragic joys. God made no contradictions. What denies its own existence (World #2) and attacks itself (World #2) is not of Him. He did not make two minds, with Heaven (World #1) as the glad effect of one, and earth (World #2) the other's sorry outcome which is Heaven's (World #1) opposite (World #2) in every way."

WORLD #2 - Earth:

"What seems to be the opposite of life (World #2) is merely sleeping. When the mind elects to be what it is not (World #2), and to assume an alien power which it does not have (World #2), a foreign state it cannot enter (World #2), or a false condition not within its Source (World #2 in World #1), it merely seems to go to sleep a while. It dreams of time (World #2); an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere (World #2). When the mind awakes (World #1), it but continues as it always was."

"The world (World #2) was made as an attack on God. It symbolizes fear. And what is fear except love's absence? Thus the world (World #2) was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him. Here was perception born (World #3)" "The world you see is an illusion of a world (World #2). God did not create it, for what He creates (World #1) must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see (World #2) that will endure forever."

"Others will make mistakes and so will you, as long as this illusion of a world (World #2) appears to be your home."

"He did not make two minds, with Heaven (World #1) as the glad effect of one, and earth (World #2) the other's sorry outcome which is Heaven's (World #1's) opposite (world #2) in every way."

"For this world (World #2) IS the opposite of Heaven (World #1), having been made to BE its opposite. And EVERYTHING here (World #2) takes a direction EXACTLY opposite to what is true"

"There is no world! (World #2) This is the central thought the course attempts to teach."

"There is no world (World #2) because it is a thought apart from God, and made to separate the Father and the Son, and break away a part of God Himself and thus destroy His wholeness."

"Without the idea of death there is no world (World #2). All dreams (World #2) will end with this one."

"That was the first projection of error outward. The world (World #2) arose to hide it, and became the screen (World #2) on which it was projected (World #3), and drawn between you and truth (World #1)."

"If a mind creates without love, it can create an empty shell (World #2). This CAN be possessed by evil. (World #3A) "We also have observed that man can create an empty shell (World #2), but cannot create nothing at all. This emptiness provides the screen (World #2) for the misuse of projection." (World #3A)

"The world (World #2) is nothing in itself. Your mind must give it meaning (World #3). And what you behold upon (World #3A or World #3B) it are your wishes, acted out so you can look on them and think them real."

"The world (World #2) can ADD nothing to the power and the glory of God and His Holy Sons (World #1), but it CAN blind the Sons to the Father if they behold it (World #3). You cannot behold the world (World #2) and know God (World #1). Only one is true."

"Your brother (in World #1) thinks he made the world (World #2) with you. Thus he denies creation (World #1). With you, he thinks the world he made (World #2), made HIM (World #3A). Thus he denies he MADE it." "This world (World #2) is not the Will of God, and so it is not real."

WORLD #3 - Any kind of perception of World #2:

"God's laws (World #1) do not obtain directly to a world (World #2) perception rules (World #3), for such a world (World #2) could not have been created by the Mind to which perception (World #3) has no meaning. Yet are His laws (World #1) reflected everywhere (World #2). NOT that the world (World #2) where this reflection is (World #3B), is real at all."

"Projection makes perception (World #3); the world you see (World #3A or World #3B) is what you GAVE it, nothing more than that."

"To see a SINLESS body (World #2) is impossible. For holiness is POSITIVE (World #1), and the body is merely neutral (World #2). It is NOT sinful (World #3A), but neither is it sinless (World #1). As nothing, which it IS (World #2), the body cannot meaningfully be invested with attributes of Christ (World #1) OR of the ego (World #3A). EITHER must be an error, for both would place the attributes where they cannot BE (World #2). And BOTH (World #3A and World #3B) must be undone, for purposes of truth."

"Perception (World #3) is temporary. It is an attribute of the space-time belief (World #2 and World #3), and is therefore subject to fear (World #3A) or love (World #3B). Misperception produces fear (World #3A), and true perception produces love (World #3B). NEITHER produces certainty (World #1) because all perception varies. That is why it is NOT knowledge (World #1)."

"Knowledge (World #1) comes from the altar within, and is timeless (World #1) because it is certain. To perceive the truth (world #3B) is not the same as KNOWING it (World #1)."

WORLD #3A - The ego's false perception of World #2:

"This world (World #3A) IS a picture of the crucifixion of God's Son. And until you realize that God's Son CANNOT be crucified, this is the world (World #3A) you will see."

"The world (World #2) as YOU perceive it (World #3A) cannot have been created by the Father, for the world (World #2) is NOT as you see it. God created ONLY the eternal (World #1), and everything YOU see is perishable (World #2 or #3A). Therefore, there must be another world which you do NOT see (World #3B)."

"Damnation is your judgment on YOURSELF. And this you WILL project (World #3A) upon the world (World #2). See IT (World #2) as damned (World #3A), and all you see is what YOU did to hurt the Son of God." "The unforgiving mind (World #3A) sees no mistakes, but only sins. It looks upon the world (World #2) with sightless eyes (World #3A), and shrieks as it beholds its own projections (World #3A) rising to attack its miserable parody of life."

"Recognition of meaninglessness (World #1) arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones. It represents a situation in which God (World #1) and the ego (World #2 or #3A) "challenge" each other as to whose meaning (World #3) is to be written (world #3) in the empty space (World #2) which meaninglessness (World #2) provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own "ideas" there (World #3A), fearful that the void (World #2) may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own unreality. And on this alone it is correct."

"Nothing so blinding as perception of form (World #3A perceiving World #2)."

WORLD #3B - The real world, the Holy Spirit's true perception of World #2:

"This world (World #3B) of light, this circle of brightness, is the real world, where guilt meets with forgiveness. Here, the world OUTSIDE (World #2) is seen anew, WITHOUT the shadow of guilt upon it."

"Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light (World #3B)."

"There is no world (World #2) apart from what you wish (World #3A or World #3B), and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see (World #3A or World #3B), and all the world (World #3) must change accordingly."

"As I begin to see (World #3B), I recognize His reflection on earth (World #2)."

"You need but leave the mirror clean (World #2), and clear of all the images of hidden darkness you have drawn upon it (World #3A). God (World #1) will shine upon it (World #2) of Himself. Only the clear reflection (World #3B) OF Himself can BE perceived upon it (World #2)."

"God DOES love the real world (World #2 seen via World #3B), and those who perceive its reality CANNOT see the world of death (World #2 see via World #3A)."

"A world forgiven (World #2 sees via World #3B) cannot last. It was the home of bodies (World #2). But forgiveness (World #3B) looks past bodies. This is its holiness; this is how it heals. The world of bodies (World #2) is the world of sin (World #3A)"

"Only the body (World #2) makes the world (World #2) seem real, for being separate (World #2) it could not remain where separation is impossible (World #1). Forgiveness (World #3B) proves it is impossible because it sees it not."

"Sit quietly and look upon the world you see (World #2 seen via World #3A), and tell yourself, "The real world (World #3B) is not like this. It has no buildings, and there are no streets where people walk alone and separately (World #2 seen via World #3A). There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim. There is no loss. (World #2 seen via World #3A) Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever (World #3B as a symbol of World #1)."

"This world you see MUST BE DENIED (World #3A), for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision. YOU CANNOT SEE BOTH WORLDS (World #3A and World #3B), for each of them involves a different kind of seeing (World #3), and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one (World #3A for example) is possible because you have denied the other (World #3B for example)."

"The real world (World #3B) is a symbol, like the rest of what perception (World #3) offers. Yet it stands for what is opposite (World #1) to what you made (World #2). Your world (World #2) is seen through eyes of fear (World #3A), and brings the witnesses of terror to your mind. The real world (World #3B) cannot be perceived except through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see a world (World #3B interpreting World #2) where terror is impossible, and witnesses to fear can not be found."

"Forgiveness (World #3B) is this world's (World #2) equivalent of Heaven's (World #1) justice. It translates the world of sin (World #2 via World #3A) into a simple world (World #3B), where justice can be reflected (World #3B) from BEYOND the gate (World #1) behind which total lack of limits lies. (World #1)"

Returning to WORLD #1:

"Those who have learned to offer ONLY healing, because of the reflection of holiness in them (World #3B), are ready at last for Heaven (World #1). There (World #1), holiness is not a reflection (World #3B), but rather the ACTUAL CONDITION of what was but reflected TO them here. (World #3B). God (World #1) is no image, and His creations, as part of Him, hold Him in them in truth. They do not merely REFLECT the truth (World #3B), for THEY ARE truth (World #1)."

"It would indeed be impossible to BE in the world (World #2) with this knowledge. For the mind that knows this unequivocally, knows also that it dwells in eternity (World #1), and utilizes no perception at all (World #2 or World #3)."

"The world (World #2 seen with perception as World #3A) is false perception. It is born of error, and it has not left its source. It will remain no longer than the thought which gave it birth is cherished. When the thought of separation (World #2) has been changed to one of true forgiveness (World #3B), will the world (World #2) be seen in quite another light (World #3B); and one which leads to truth (World #1), where all the world must disappear (World #2 bye bye), and all its errors vanish. Now its source has gone, and its effects are gone as well."

"Leave the world of death behind (World #2), and return quietly to Heaven (World #1). There is NOTHING of value here (World #2), and EVERYTHING of value there (World #1)."

"But, as you cross to JOIN it (World #1), IT will JOIN WITH YOU, and BECOME ONE with you. And you will think, in glad astonishment, that for all this, YOU GAVE UP NOTHING! (World #2)"

"The world (World #2) will end in an illusion, as it began. Yet will its ending be an illusion of mercy (World #3B). The illusion of forgiveness (World #3B), complete, excluding no-one, limitless in gentleness, will cover it (World #2), hiding all evil (World #3A), concealing all sin and ending guilt forever. So ends the world that guilt had made (World #2 or World #3A), for now it has no purpose and is gone."

"The world (World #2) will end when all things in it have been rightly judged by His judgment (World #3B). The world (World #2) will end with the benediction of holiness upon it (World #3B). When not one thought of sin remains (World #3A), the world is over (World #2). It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched. It (World #2 earth) will merely cease to seem to be."

"The world (World #2) will end when its thought system has been completely reversed (World #3B)."

"The final lesson (World #3B) which brings the ending of the world (World #2) cannot be grasped by those not yet prepared to leave the world (World #2) and go beyond its tiny reach. "

"In blessing (World #3B) it departs (World #2), for it will not end as it began. To turn hell (World #2 sees as World #3A) into Heaven (World #3B) is the function of God's teachers, for what they teach are lessons in which Heaven (World #1) is reflected (World #3B)."

"Where destruction was perceived (World #3A) the face of Christ appears (World #3B), and in that instant is the world forgot (World #2), with time (World #2) forever ended as the world (World #2) spins into nothingness from where it came."

"And here They join, for here the face of Christ (World #3B) has shone away time's (World #2) final instant, and now is the last perception of the world (World #3 or #3B) without a purpose and without a cause. For where God's memory has come at last (World #3B) there is no journey, no belief in sin (World #3A), no walls (World #2), no bodies (World #2), and the grim appeal of guilt and death World #2 or #3A) is there snuffed out forever."

"Hallowed your Name and His, for they are joined here in this holy place (World #3B). Here He (World #1) leans down (to World #2) to lift you back to Him (in World #1), out of illusions (World #2) into holiness (World #1); out of the world (World #2) and into timelessness (World #1); out of all fear (World #3A) and given back to Love. (World #1)."

"All this beauty will rise to bless your sight (World #3B), as you look upon the world (World #2) with forgiving eyes (World #3B). For forgiveness (World #3B) literally TRANSFORMS vision, and lets you see the real world (World #3B), reaching quietly and gently across chaos (World #2), and removing all illusions that had twisted your perception (World #3A), and fixed it on the past. The smallest leaf (World #2) becomes a thing of wonder (World #3A), and a blade of grass (World #2) a sign of God's perfection (world #3B - a symbol). From the forgiven (World #3B) world (World #2), the Son of God is lifted easily to his home (World #1). And there, he knows that he has ALWAYS rested there in peace."

"The body (World #2) is the symbol of the world (World #2). Leave it behind. It cannot enter Heaven. (World #1) But I can take you there (World #1) anytime you choose. Together we can watch the world disappear (World #2) and its symbol vanish (World #2) as it does so. And then, and then... I cannot speak of that. (World #1)"

"Its neutrality (World #2) protects it while it has a use (World #3B). And afterwards, without a purpose, it is laid aside (end of World #2)" "And now God's KNOWLEDGE (World #1), changeless, certain, pure and wholly understandable, enters its Kingdom (World #1). Gone is perception (World #3), false (World #3A) and true (World #3B) alike. Gone is forgiveness (World #3B), for its task is done. And gone are bodies (World #2) in the blazing light upon the altar to the Son of God (World #1)."

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Thank you, Paul!

This is great. It makes understanding much easier.

I can’t wait for 3B!

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