The Earth IS flat - The hierarchy of illusions

Sunday, Mar 28, 2021 2726 words 12 mins 6 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2021 Paul West

Okay so, you hear people saying the Earth is flat - the "flat Earthers"... and obviously it's not. But... technically it is.You see, there is this thing called the "hierarchy of illusions". The hierarchy is an ILLUSION that there are differences. All differences are illusions.

So you've got things like different importance, different value, different size and weight, different difficulty, different materials, different appearances, different behaviors, different forms, all of that.

However, the world isn't real, and these differences aren't real.Imagine a canvas on which an artist is going to paint a picture. The canvas itself is just one thing, neutral, empty. There is nothing inherently pictured on it. This is the background of the illusory world.

The artist takes the paint and starts to paint pictures of humans. There's a large body over here, and a small one over there. There's one with two arms, and there's one with only one arm. There's one that's jumping in the air, and one that's laying seemingly dead on the ground.

But the truth always is, that these are all just images, made of the same paint. There is really no difference between the body jumping in the air and the one that appears dead. They're both equal in the sense that any of their difference are an illusion. There aren't really ANY bodies on the canvas, it's just images of bodies.

And so what the illusion of the picture of a world of bodies is, is really a picture of what those things might LOOK LIKE. A body which looks LIKE a dead body, a body which is similar to how a living body might look. And this makes the images on the canvas once removed from the actual thing, from "reality" or "real bodies". They are pictures OF bodies, not actual bodies.

The thing is, the physical world is usually considered to be real, where the "real bodies" are, but in fact the physical world is the realm of the what LOOKS LIKE a world. It's a picturing of a world, an image, like a photograph of some place that you visited. The photograph is not the place itself, just an idea of what it might be like there. That's what the world is. The world is the paint on the canvas, pretending to look like things. A picture OF some OTHER place that doesn't exist.

"The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. It cannot change what is its waking state. ***It cannot make a body***, nor abide within a body. What is alien to the mind does not exist because it has no source. For mind creates all things that are, and cannot give them attributes it lacks, nor change its own eternal, mindful state. ***It cannot make the physical. What seems to die is but the sign of mind asleep.***"

ie The physical world is not REALLY a REAL physical world, it's a picture of one, an imagined idea of what a physical world might be like. It is like a dream about a far off land that you never really visited.

You have never actually REALLY seen a real body, you have only seem what bodies MIGHT look like if they existed. Because really the world is a dream of, an idea of, what it MIGHT be like IF you were able to separate from God. It remains true that you cannot separate from God because God is everywhere. Nor can you REALLY create bodies. So we've just pictured a world which looks LIKE some OTHER place that we've never been to, trying to form it in its likeness to represent it. To symbolize it. The world is a SYMBOL OF a world OUTSIDE of God, which does not exist.

Now, because the physical world of form is the layer of paint on the canvas, and let's say the canvas is what ACIM calls "the real world" which has no inherent forms or bodies or places or things, when you look at it and recognize it as "all made of the same stuff", or "its all just paint" or "its all an equal image", this FLATTENS the hierarchy of illusions. It's stops it appearing as though one thing is bigger or heavier or more important or different to another. Or that any of it is real.

This recognition that the world has NO hierarchy, and that it is all just one thing appearing to be many things, is what it's like to recognize that the picture is just the layer of paint, and it's all just paint. Which means that really a picture of a living body is just as much equal and just paint, as a picture of a dead body. Neither of them are truly different. They're both illusions.

The form of the living body may appear different to the dead one, but that is the illusion of it. "Nothing so blinding as perception of form." When you focus on the forms and their differences you're being deceived by the painted picture, and are failing to recognize it for the trick that it is. You're not realizing it's only a painting, and are mistaking it for BEING the thing it visualizes. You think the PICTURE OF a body really IS a body. That pictures of death really ARE death.

When you overlook ie forgive the ILLUSION of things being different, and you don't fall for there really being a live body or a dead body, and you see the paint instead of the picture, that is true perception. That is accurate perception. It isn't a perception that looks at paint on a canvas and believes there are real people living there with real bodies. It isn't the way the "brain" sees a photo of a body and believes it's looking at the actual person. It's a recognition that it's JUST a photograph, looking at the grain on the paper and the blots of ink.

This is a "flattening" of the hierarchy. A PICTURE of a dead body is now equal to a picture of a living one. A PICTURE of a body with disease is no different in truth than a picture of a body that seems healthy. Because really they are both just images on a blank canvas. And neither of them is more dead or alive, in truth.

"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."

There is no more MEANING in a dead body. There is no more "seriousness" in a dead body. There is no more "lack of life" in a dead body than in a supposedly "living" body. Which tells you also that the living bodies are NOT REALLY ALIVE either. The bodies aren't alive, and they aren't dead, they are just pictures of bodies. They are symbols, not ends in themselves. All made of the same illusory stuff.

"The body neither lives nor dies, for it cannot contain you who are life."

"There is no life outside of heaven."

"At best an illusion of life, at worst death."

"The body is not an end in itself."

So what that calls for, in order to see with forgiveness, is to recognize that there is no truth, life, will, mind, power, causality, strength, force, capability, or existence, to either the living bodies or the dead bodies. They are nothing but pictures. They don't have a "life" to be defended against death, and "death" cannot happen to them any more than life can. e.g.

"Now in the hands made gentle by His touch, the Holy Spirit lays ***a picture*** of a DIFFERENT you. It is ***a picture of a body*** still, for what you REALLY are can not be seen nor pictured. But THIS one has NOT been used for purpose of attack, and therefore never suffered pain at all."

The body is just a picture, in a painting in your mind, which has NO DEPTH. It is not really three dimensional. And its differences are ALL illusions of the way (form) that it's painted in. See the paint for what it is and you no longer see bodies there, or imagine that pictures of houses are real houses, or that pictures of cars are really cars, or that pictures of death are really death.

This ultimately flattens the hierarchy and means there IS NO DIFFERENCE between illusions. There is only one separation, one illusion, one picture, and it's all equally false. Even the suggestion that something would be more DIFFICULT to change than another thing, is part of the illusion of the hierarchy. It is not true. And this ultimately means that there really is no "orders of difficulty."

"The only effort you need make, to give this world (earth) away in glad exchange for what you did NOT make (heaven), is willingness to learn THE ONE YOU MADE IS FALSE."

From the vantage point of recognizing it all as ONE THING, one dream, one illusion of a world, and ignoring its FORMS, overlooking its differences, and not being deceived or tempted to believe there really ARE any differences at all, there is no "orders" in the world. There are no divisions and levels and parts and pieces. It's all just one illusion, one separation idea. Which means live bodies and dead bodies are the same thing, pretending to be two different things. They are both the dream of death. An illusion.

"Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem."So ultimately THE WORLD IS FLAT, because the hierarchy is flat. When you take away all the illusions of difference, which is false perception - not recognizing it's all just paint - all you end up with is a FLAT world. A world where there is ONE WAY of looking at everything, and it is recognized as ONE THING. And so there is no bigger or smaller or harder or easier.

From that perspective, which is the state of miracle mindedness and true perception, in which everything is given NO extra meaning other than the universal ONE meaning of love, and there is no falling for the deception that a sick body is "a really serious bad thing", and there is no difference in meaning given to "that body seems really healthy" versus "that body seems disease-ridden and ugly", you are now coming from ONE perspective. One vantage point. One loving outlook. One all-inclusive perspective. No longer tempted by form.

From that one perspective, with Vision, for you there is no longer a rough terrain, or a 3D world, or a world where some things are dealt with differently to others. There is one problem and one solution, not many. And there is no hierarchy of orders of difficulty. So now it is ONE ACT, to change the painting, to any given form. It is ONE ACT to perform a miracle which modifies a PICTURE of a dead body into a PICTURE of a living one. One act which can in turn convert a living body into a dead one, and back again. Because all bodies are fake.

To that mind, there is "no order of difficulty in miracles." "They are all the same". Each one is an expression of a spark of life which repaints the picture. A modification to the mind projecting so that the paint on the page changes to SYMBOLIZE something else. Because remember the paint is what something looks LIKE, not what something is. It is all symbolic and once removed. So the body now SYMBOLIZES eternal life, instead of symbolizing death.

It now becomes useful to heal the mind to heal the body, ie to convert the PICTURE of the body into a body free of pain and suffering and damage and death, because this picture in the dream world demonstrates and SYMBOLICALLY communicates an IMAGE of, a representation of, innocence and immortality and harmlessness and holiness. And this TEACHES those who look upon it that they must be innocent, because it does not play by the rules of the laws of a world of difficulty. It does not prove their sinfulness. And proof of sin is not there, breaking the laws of physics.

"Your body can be means to teach that it has never suffered pain because of him. And in its healing can it offer him mute testimony to his innocence. It is THIS testimony that can speak with power greater than a thousand tongues. For here is his forgiveness PROVED to him."

"Thus does the miracle undo all things the world attests can never BE undone. And hopelessness and death MUST disappear before the ancient clarion call of life. This call has power FAR beyond the weak and miserable cry of death and guilt."

"The body can become a sign of life, a promise of redemption, and a breath of immortality to those grown sick of breathing in the fetid scent of death. Let it have healing as its PURPOSE. Then will it send forth the message it received, and by its health and loveliness proclaim the truth and value that it represents. Let it receive the power to represent an endless life, forever unattacked. And to your brother let its message be, "Behold me, brother, at your hand I live.""

"It is a picture of a body still, for what you REALLY are can not be seen nor pictured. But THIS one has NOT been used for purpose of attack, and therefore never suffered pain at all. IT witnesses to the eternal truth that you can not BE hurt, and points BEYOND itself to both YOUR innocence and HIS."

So you see, the world IS flat, because it is only an ILLUSION that it has any FORM at all. And all its differences are illusions. Bodies and planets and galaxies are not alive, or dead, or anything. They are once-removed PICTURES on a canvas, the underlying canvas of "the real world", and the pictures shift just like the shadows on the wall of the cave. And they are not reality. They are just imagined ideas of what it might be like to go be where God is not. it's not the same place as actually going there. And so the world is just a brochure for hell, not real hell itself.

There is no death, and dead bodies are no more dead than live ones. And live ones are no more alive than dead ones. And all levels of sickness are meaningless. And all degrees of suffering are a lie. And miracles express from a higher vantage point in which the Earth is flat and the hierarchy is flat and every artistic act of "healing bodies" is merely a way of reconfiguring the paint, so that it can symbolize eternal life and point in the direction of heaven rather than hell. As a physicalized symbol of forgiveness.

In this view the body is nothing but an IMAGE in the mind. It has no sickness or health. It cannot be well or dead or suffer at all. I this no will, it has no mind of its own, or instincts, or natural ways. It does not really obey ANY laws of the world, unless your mind believes in the hierarchy of illusions. When you lift away from this PICTURE of a body, the rules and laws and restraints that your mind GAVE to it, trying to make it something OTHER THAN just a neutral image in a dream, it no longer serves the laws of the world.

And now the body is not under the effect of the world. And it cannot become sick on its own, nor can it die against your will. It is now simply suspended in the mind as a figment of imagination, and mind has complete power and control over it, to override any external influences. It cannot age, it cannot get sick, it does not need the world to exist, it does not depend on anything, it just moves around like a puppet for the mind. An avatar in a dream. A figure pretending to be you. A symbol of your immortal self.

Of course, when you throw the painting in the trashcan there is no world, and "heaven is all that remains."

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