The separation has actually occurred
Read this carefully from ACIM.
"The Separation HAS occurred. To deny this is merely to misuse denial."
These are Jesus's words. They are correct. It does not say that impossible separation from God has been made possible. It does not say that we in fact DID separate from God. It says that something called "the separation" HAS happened. There is a major difference between THE separation, and the general impossible potential for actual separation.
There is a very popular myth in ACIM circles that we're supposed to just assert that "nothing happened." Jesus is saying this is NOT appropriate and is a misuse of denial. Did you ever notice that for example you actually are having SOME KIND of experience of a world, a world in which you have a body, you type posts on facebook, you respond to people and so on? Technically speaking if these "things" were UTTERLY impossible, in the strictest sense, there is no way that you would even be able to dream of them happening. You wouldn't be ABLE to sit there right now reading these words, whether they're real or not.
There is a view of many people that the separation - confused with separation in general - did NOT happen, and therefore the logical conclusion is that "there is no facebook". This is CLEARLY A DENIAL. It makes no sense at all. It does not explain how it is clearly obviously possible for there to be some kind of a facebook, some kind of a body, some kind of a physical life.
No-one who believes that "it never happened" has ever been able to satisfactorily explain HOW ITS POSSIBLE that we can be sitting here typing little text messages to each other. They don't have an explanation because they believe we're supposed to just sort of turn a blind eye to all this stuff, slap a label of "not real" on it, PRETEND ITS NOT THERE (denial), and carry on trying to assert its unreality.
Jesus is telling you that this is a MISUSE OF DENIAL. Because in fact, per his words, "THE SEPARATION HAS OCCURRED." This isn't a real separation, it is fictional. But a fictional separation HAS occurred. A belief in, a dream of, an illusion of, an impossible separation, HAS occurred in thought, in the mind. It HAS in fact produced a whole other "order of thought" in the mind.
"We have discussed the fall or Separation before, but its meaning must be clearly understood, without symbols. The Separation is NOT symbolic. It is an order of reality, or a system of thought that is PERFECTLY real in time, though not in Eternity. All beliefs are real to the believer."
Read it carefully. The separation is NOT symbolic. Jesus says it is an ORDER OF REALITY. And that while it "lasts" ie in time, it is PERFECTLY REAL. This is NOT something that most ACIM students are very happy about, do not want to admit to, and will run away from at high speed. It seems to fly in the face of what so many people are saying, that "it never happened". Well, if it could not have possibly happened in ANY WAY, you literally would not be reading these words right now. And you are. Whether its a dream or an hallucination it doesn't matter, you ARE reading.
In the separation we did in fact produce a second order of thought and gave it a sense of reality. "Whatever you accept into your mind becomes real to you." It doesn't mean it is ULTIMATELY real, or that it really has permanent existence. It is truly an illusion of a possibility. But Jesus is clear the mind is perfectly equipped to sleep and to dream. These are NATURAL CAPABILITIES.
In fact, God gave our minds free will. And part of that TOTAL FREEDOM, is that you can freely try to use your mind to deny its own freedom. Yes, you have that freedom. It doesn't mean that anything real or possible can necessarily come from it, and it hasn't, but you CAN TRY TO. And when you do try to, your mind DOES SEEM to go to sleep, entering a state in which it dreams. This is entirely WITHIN THE LAWS OF GOD.
"Your Father created you Wholly without sin, wholly without pain, and wholly without suffering of any kind. If you deny Him, you bring sin, pain, and suffering into your OWN mind, because of the power He gave it. Your mind is capable of creating worlds, but it can also DENY what it creates, because it is free."
This means God has given you the POTENTIAL, the freedom, to choose, per your own free will, whether to accept reality or not. You are CAPABLE of denying reality. This denial doesn't remove reality because denial is a pretense that you're doing something impossible. But while you are IN denial, your mind IS in a certain state. You ARE IN "the separation." This is why we DID produce a state of mind which Jesus refers to as "the separation". We DID have a mad idea, we DID fall asleep, we DID dream of spacetime, and we DID make bodies and facetime.
Denying any of this is not in line with the course. This isn't to say that these things we dream of are ultimately real, but they ARE real to the dreamer. They don't have permanence because they are denials of permanence, making them temporary, and reversible. But while they are HAPPENING, while the mind IS sleeping and dreaming, we ARE in fact CAUSING the mis-creation, the production, of states of mind, which entail a denial of reality.
"What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while. It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was."
In order to return TO ultimate reality, the denial has to be undone. But the denial is, itself, an actual state of mind. It's something you're holding in your thought. You are having a dream of being separate. "You are safe in God, dreaming of exile". It is not helpful to claim that you are NOT DREAMING. "you MUST change your mind and help others change theirs. It is pointless to refuse to tolerate change or changing because you believe that you can demonstrate by doing so that the Separation never occurred. The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming it is not really healing the level-split."
"To you the miracle CANNOT seem natural, because what you have done to hurt your minds, has made THEM so UNnatural that they do not remember what is natural to them."
"For you HAVE hurt yourself, and made your Self your enemy."
Jesus does not really ask that we "deny the dream is real" while STILL dreaming it. Because this is an false denial. The proper denial should END dreaming entirely. If you are still dreaming, then you are still giving reality to an order of thought.
"The Separation is NOT symbolic. It is an order of reality, or a system of thought"
This order of reality is being maintained by the mind and it HAS some reality while it is being maintained. That is why the world seems real. It is a kind of subjective reality but it's still a reality. Jesus asks us instead to ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE HAS BEEN A SUBJECTIVE SEPARATION - at least a state of denial and belief, a state of TRYING to oppose God - and that we must admit to this before we can heal it.
"However, to concentrate on error is merely a further misuse of legitimate psychic mechanisms. The true corrective procedure, which has already been described as the proper use of the spiritual eye (or true vision), is to accept the error temporarily, BUT ONLY as an indication that IMMEDIATE correction is mandatory. This establishes a state of mind in which the Atonement can be accepted without delay."
He doesn't say "just assert that it never happened." He doesn't say "just assert that separation is impossible." He says that you are supposed to ACCEPT THE ERROR TEMPORARILY, to acknowledge that your mind is in an unnatural state, so that you can change your mind into a more natural state. Eventually the unnatural state will diminish and be replaced by, or reveal, a more natural state. And by CHANGING YOUR MIND, which is always your freedom, you can revert it back to the service of spirit.
Remember that "The Separation HAS occurred. To deny this is merely to misuse denial."
We HAVE chosen poorly, we HAVE used psychic mechanisms - mind power - thought and belief - to mis-create an illusory world. We did not create a NOTHING. We mis-created a distortion of reality. That HAS happened. But it can be undone. This far more accurately acknowledges your ACTUAL EXPERIENCE that you drive a car and eat food and go to the bathroom. There is SOME reality to this, some possibility to this, otherwise you literally could not even dream of it.
The dream is not nothing, it is a way of thinking that's out of alignment with God's will. That's why we NEED atonement. "Thus he becomes uncertain of his life, for what it is has been denied by him. It is for this denial that you need Atonement. Your denial made no change in what you are. But you have split your mind into what knows and does not know the truth."
"It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid you have placed yourself in a position where you NEED Atonement BECAUSE you have DONE something loveless because you WILLED without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. The need for the remedy inspired its CREATION."
So Jesus is really saying that we did in fact enter a state of mind in which the mind does in fact experience strange illusory worlds as if they are real. A state of insanity. And we have given reality to this and it HAS SOME reality. It is relatively real, but not absolutely real. And because of this entering into a freely-chosen state of denial, a legitimate mind-state that is POSSIBLE because you have the freedom to try to deny your freedom - we DID in fact experience a "separate from God" - the fall of man.
And now we find ourselves in a mental state that NEEDS correction. There is a legitimate NEED for atonement, and we NEED to change our mind by free will in order to return to the acceptance of God's reality as the only reality that truly makes sense. A movement out of a state of sleep and denial, into a state of awakening and acceptance.
That's why the Holy Spirit was created, to guide us out of a state that we are PERFECTLY FREE TO ENTER, but which does not resonate well with our true nature, and so brings experiences of suffering. The atonement legitimately offers correction for this and restores the mind to a more natural functioning. It's not enough to just say "oh it never happened." You HAVE used your freedom and your power to choose something unnatural, and you DO need to choose again.
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