The simplicity of salvation

Monday, Dec 07, 2020 3168 words 14 mins 4 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2020 Paul West

Salvation is SO simple, that it can seem difficult to grasp, especially when we are so used to being deceived that there are many separate, different, isolated problems. When the form of the problem deceives you, which is believing that illusions are real and true, you do not recognize the problem. And when it seems there are an endless string of different problems, escape from suffering seems hopeless.

You think the problem is about what the form says the problem is about. But the form is a disguise. The form is made to deceive you to believe the problem is specific and confined to one thing. And when you seem to solve that one thing you do not really solve the real problem.

The problem we need to recognize is the single problem, the only problem, which is believing that the world is true and real. Not recognizing it is a failure to recognize that this is only a dream, not a reality. That there is no world. When we do not recognize this problem, this one belief, we become lost and confused in the many forms of the world, we buy into the hierarchy of illusions, different situations seem separate, and the form they take starts to dictate the solution.

If you were to recognize the true problem, the separation idea, which is the belief that the world is true and real, or that an opposite to God exists, this recognition alone would solve the problem. The problem really, then, is the LACK OF RECOGNITION of what the situation IS, causing your mind to become tangled up in and lost in a world of a seemingly endless string of disconnected pieces and specific problems.

If the only problem really is that you have swapped what is true and what is false, what is real and what is unreal, then it is easier to solve. If the only problem is that you have assigned EVERY attribute of God and reality TO that which is not God and is unreal, and you have assigned every aspect of what is not God and is unreal TO God, then the simple solution is to reverse this reversal of the recognition of what is really true. That only the truth is true and only the false is false.

Salvation is in fact then incredibly super simple. All you have to do is un-swap the true and the false, the real and unreal. To correctly distinguish between the true and the false, so that the truth is recognized AS true - God's truth - and the false is recognized AS false - the illusory dream world which doesn't really exist.

"For if you perceive both good AND evil, you are accepting both the false AND the true, AND MAKING NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN THEM. The ego sees SOME good, but never ONLY good. That is WHY its perceptions are so variable. It does not reject goodness entirely, for this you could not accept, but it always ADDS something that is NOT real TO the real, thus CONFUSING ILLUSION AND REALITY. For perceptions cannot be partly true. If you believe in truth AND illusion, you CANNOT TELL WHICH IS TRUE."

"But HIS (Holy Spirit's) function is to distinguish only between the false and the true, replacing the false WITH the true."

This is all that is needed to be set free from ALL FORMS of suffering, no matter the form they take. This ONE LESSON is all that need be learned, and applies to all situations no matter the form they take. The lesson is the re-framing of the WHOLE world, the entire picture, the changing of the PREMISE of everything that seems to be happening, so that you recognize again that IF this entire world is ONLY a dream, not a reality, this completely invalidates ALL forms of suffering and problems.

You can go through life tackling individual problems till the cows come home to die. You can get lost and deceived in the many ways that EACH problem seems different. You can fear the onset of the next big problem, which you fear will be different to yet just as threatening as the last, or moreso. And how will it be solved differently than the one before? Problems can take on the form of a person who has a broken leg, which seems to be different to, the tap is leaking, which seems different to, the car needs fixing, which is different to, someone just threatened me with their contagion.

And an endless string of individual SPECIFIC FORMS are presented by the ego, IN the world, AS the world, which is a horizontal experience of the world, with never-ending supply. Like taking a road littered with constant obstacles, where each one throws you off in a different direction or hurls you off-center right after getting done dealign with putting out another fire of a different form. When will it end? How many DECEPTIONS of specific problems, all of which are unreal, do you need to experience before you realize THEY ARE ALL DECEIVING YOU into believing there are MANY problems, and NOT ONE OF THEM IS TRUE?

It ends when you start to not be deceived by the FORM the problems are taking, and instead start to question the validity of ALL problems, by changing your mind ABOUT THE WORLD. This is the shift from false to true perception. If you can rise up above ALL problems, have no reaction to ANY problems, then there is nothing to fear and you cannot suffer. If ALL the problems are ONE problem, once recognized as false, then EVERY problem is simultaneously solved through ONE change. And this one change is the recognition - enlightenment - that NO PROBLEMS EXIST because there is no "world of problems".

Forgiveness, then, to redefine it in clearer terms, is merely the recognition that there is no world, there are no real problems, none of the forms are true, there are no differences between forms, every problem is the same problem, the whole world is unreal and untrue, there is no reality to sin, sin does not exist, and there is no suffering at all. It's the recognition that this IS ONLY A DREAM. And therefore, every single thing that seems to happen has its MEANING entirely changed, because of the change in the premise of the whole thing.

If the world WERE real and true, and a war were happening, this would be a nightmare. But the instant that you recognize that the world IS NOT real or true, and is just a dream, this utterly changes the meaning of the entire event. Not only is the event not happening, it is having no real consequences, there is no real suffering, there IS NO WAR, and nothing is happening. Upon THIS recognition, you cannot react, and you cannot be afraid. Because you WOULD NOT REACT AT ALL to figures in a dream you knew that YOU were dreaming. And now the ENTIRE war and every part of it IS INVALIDATED.

You can only be afraid if you believe that the dream world, which is an illusion of a world, has reality. The instant you believe it has reality, truth, cause, power, will, mind, existence, life, presence, happening, effects, etc... you have become confused, are insane, will now be lost in illusions, taking forms to be real, and will be deceived. And now you MUST be in fear because something which does NOT exist appears to exist. Something NOT OF GOD seems to be happening, which is terrifying. And now the form of every problem will stand out as DIFFERENT to the others and will deceive you into an endless road of suffering.

"Deny anything not of God any power to affect you."

Everything in the course points towards the SIMPLICITY of salvation. It is the transcendence of form. Moving beyond appearances. Recognizing that THIS IS ALL A DREAM. Recognizing that the entire world is based on a FALSE PREMISE. It is NOT real, and God DID NOT create it, and IT DOES NOT exist. Which changes the meaning of everything that seems to be happening. To such an extent, that you cannot possibly have grounds for reacting to anything, or being upset by anything, or hurt by anything, because there is NOTHING THERE. And when "nothing unreal exists", you HAVE to be happy, safe and at peace.

The world, essentially, is nothing more than an hallucination. It is a dream you are having IN YOUR MIND. It isn't a world of existence and it is not part of existence. It is entirely contained in your imagination, in thought. "You maintain the world in your mind with your thoughts." "There is no world apart form what you wish." "The world is false perception". You project a world and perceive WITHIN your mind. "The world IS perception." There is no world here at all, really. We are just dreaming of a world, in our mind, in a state of sleep. And if you believe this illusion of a world HAS ANY REALITY, you are lost in the dream and WILL suffer.

All salvation therefore, the escape from suffering, the escape from sleeping, the escape from insanity, the escape from sin and death, entails nothing more than recognizing IT IS NOT GOD. It is not real or true. It is not really there. You must take AWAY from it all the power you gave to it. You must take away from it all the sense of truth, reality, power, causality, presence, life, will, mind, spirit, union, consequence, existence, that you GAVE to it, when you confused illusions with the truth.

"Nothiing in the world has the power to bring oppression ... to make you ill or sad or weak or frail" ... "but it is you who have the power to dominate all things you see".

When you took what is true and what is false, and swapped them, which is ALL THAT HAPPENED in the separation from God, which is responsible for EVERYTHING that seemed to arise from the separation, you CONFUSED the true with the false, you stopped distinguishing between them, and you believed true things were false and false things were true. And so you MIXED truth into the false and tried to GIVE the false reality. This has to be undone. It is simply undone by reversal of the denial of God, and the acceptance that ONLY THE TRUTH IS TRUE, and nothing else is true. That is the atonement.

Your challenge now is to learn to NOT be deceived by the FORM of multiple separate illusions, separate events, separate problems, separate bodies, and instead to see that THE WHOLE WORLD and your belief in it is the problem. You suffer because you believe in the PREMISE of this world. You suffer because you think this stuff is ALL HAPPENING. You suffer because you HAVE TO react to the world in fear and stress IF you believe it is real. And you suffer ONLY because you think there is TRUTH to appearances.

Salvation is simple. Salvation is singular. Salvation is abstract. Salvation is ONE solution to ONE problem. The belief that a world opposite to God is real, is the one problem. This produces EVERY form of suffering, because form is made real. The recognition that the world IS NOT A REAL OPPOSITE to God (who is all encompassing and has no opposite), sets you free from ALL suffering NO MATTER what form it takes in the dream. Awareness of dreaming recognizing this IS just a dream, and sighs with relief that nothing unreal exists.

"The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you, out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation, because it is the recognition that reality is ONLY WHAT IS TRUE." ... This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel that a course which, in the end, teaches nothing more than that only reality is true is necessary. BUT DO YOU BELIEVE IT?"

"How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible has not occurred, and can have no effects. And that is all. Can this be hard to learn by anyone who WANTS it to be true? ONLY unwillingness to learn it could make such an easy lesson difficult. How hard is it to see that what is false can not be true, and what is true can not be false? You can no longer say that you perceive no differences in false and true. You have been told exactly how to tell one from the other, and just what to do if you become confused. Why, then, do you persist in learning not such simple things?"

"How simple, then, is God's plan for salvation. There is but one response to reality, for reality evokes no conflict at all. There is but one Teacher of Reality, Who understands what it is. He does NOT change His mind about reality, because REALITY does not change. Although YOUR interpretations of reality are meaningless in your divided state, His remain consistently true. He GIVES them to you because they are FOR you."

"The Holy Spirit will repeat this ONE inclusive lesson of deliverance, until it has been learned, REGARDLESS of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him, He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer TAKES AWAY the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the SINGLE cause of all of them, no matter WHAT their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, "I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.""

"Salvation lies in the simple fact that illusions are NOT fearful, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT TRUE. And they but SEEM to be fearful to the extent to which you fail to recognize them FOR WHAT THEY ARE. And you WILL fail to do this, to the extent to which you WANT them to be true. And, to the same extent, you are DENYING truth, and so are making YOURSELF unable to make the simple choice between truth and illusion, fantasy and God."

"We have repeated how little is asked of you to learn this course. It is the same small willingness you need to have your whole relationship transformed to joy. The little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit for which He gives you everything. The very little, on which salvation rests. The tiny change of mind by which the crucifixion is changed to Resurrection. And, being true, it is so simple that it cannot fail to be completely understood."

"Have faith in nothing, and you will FIND the treasure that you sought. Yet you will add another burden to your mind, ALREADY burdened, or you would NOT have sought another. You will believe that NOTHING IS OF VALUE, and will VALUE it. A little piece of glass, a speck of dust, a body, or a war, are one to you. For if you value ONE thing made of nothing, you HAVE believed that nothing CAN be precious, and that you CAN learn how to make the UNtrue true. The Holy Spirit, SEEING where you are, but KNOWING you are elsewhere, begins His lesson in simplicity with the fundamental teaching that TRUTH IS TRUE. This is the hardest lesson you will ever learn, and in the end the ONLY one."

"Simplicity is very difficult for twisted minds. Consider all the distortions you have made of nothing; all the strange forms and feelings, and actions and reactions, that you have woven out of it. Nothing is so alien to you as the simple truth, and nothing are you LESS inclined to listen to. The contrast between what is true, and what is not, is PERFECTLY apparent, yet you do NOT see it. The simple and the obvious are NOT apparent to those who would make palaces and royal robes of nothing, believing they are kings with golden crowns BECAUSE of them. All this the Holy Spirit sees, and teaches, simply, that ALL THIS IS NOT TRUE."

"The quietness of its simplicity is so compelling, that you will realize IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DENY THE SIMPLE TRUTH. For there IS nothing else. God is everywhere, and His Son is IN Him WITH everything. Can he sing the dirge of sorrow, when THIS is true?"

"Today I would remember the simplicity of salvation by reinforcing the lesson that there is one problem and one solution. ... The problem is a grievance; the solution is a miracle. And I invite the solution to come to me through my forgiveness of the grievance, and my welcome of the miracle which takes its place."

"A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. Even if it is really solved already, you will still have the problem because you cannot recognize that it has been solved. This is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. But the solution is not recognized because the problem is not recognized.

Everyone in this world seems to have his own special problems. Yet they are all the same, and must be recognized as one if the one solution which solves them all is to be accepted. Who can see that a problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else? Even if he is given the answer, he cannot see its relevance."

"We will try to free our minds of all the many different kinds of problems that we think we have. We will try to realize that we have only one problem, which we have failed to recognize. We will ask what it is, and wait for the answer. We will be told. Then we will ask for the solution to it. And we will be told."

"Be not deceived by the form of problems today. Whenever any difficulty seems to rise, tell yourself quickly:

"Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved.""

"The body's eyes will continue to see differences. 2 But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. 3 There will be those who seem to be "sicker" than others, and the body's eyes will report their changed appearances as before. 4 But the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. 5 This is the gift of its Teacher; the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. 6 And of these two, but one is real. 7 Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place—for differences cannot exist within it—so too are illusions without distinctions. 8 The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing. 9 The one answer to all illusions is truth."

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