The translation of the meaning of the world

Friday, Sep 23, 2022 1614 words 7 mins 10 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

Jesus speaks in ACIM about translating hell into heaven, converting somehow the Earth into heaven's reflection. ie that the Earth is neutral/devoid of meaning and we project meaning onto it. Or to put it another way, we decided that certain states or forms or situations "must mean" something in partcular.

We associate meanings like they are outcomes or inherent definitions of what is happening. As if, when such and such happens it always means "this". As if the meaning is inherent in the form. Jesus speaks of this as form appearing to shut out all meaning to the extend that the form itself seems to describe what the forms means. And that this is a total illusion.

"See how the body's eyes rest on externals, and CANNOT go beyond. Watch how they STOP at nothingness, unable to go BEYOND the form to meaning."

The truth is that we give everything all the meaning it has, and the world has NO inherent meaning of its own. It is indeed a meaningless world, which is why it acts like a mirror reflecting back whatever you project onto it. We actually decide that it means whatever we think it means, and then pretend it meant this without our contribution.

But when you think about it, he's talking about a process of interpretation or translation. There's plenty of interesting quotes about both those terms. We basically interpret the world. Interpretation means, a process of judging or evaluating, what WE BELIEVE something is, which in some way TRANSLATES it into some other preferred form in our minds that we find acceptable. We decide to interpret it to mean whatever we WANT it to mean, hence "there is no world apart from what you wish."

Similarly, the idea of a translation does not simply mean that the thing itself changes. The world doesn't actually "turn into" the meaning that you give it. You can take the example of translating a language.

If the world is writen in English, and you translate the world into Spanish, and you can only speak Spanish, then you can "read" or interpret a VERSION of the world, an image of it, written in the Spanish language, that seems to represent the world. But the translation you are reading isn't the ORIGINAL form. The world is essentially still in English, but your interpretation of it is transforming its meaning.

Translation is also a kind of math term, translating means to move something from one location to another. And it's part of a broader group of operations such as rotation and scaling, which are all types of "transforms". In effect the thing goes through a transformation of some kind and ends up different to how it began.

So in ACIM terms, our minds are giving the world meaning by interpreting it, putting that meaning onto it. Sometimes we give it meaning from our egos and sometimes from the Holy Spirit. When the ego gives it meaning, we believe the world is inherently hell or reflects a hell-like nature. When the Holy Spirit gives it his meaning, the world now reflects the love of God.

But we should note here that the TRANSLATED VERSION of the world is in fact once removed from the world, just as a Spanish translation is once removed from the original English. When you have interpreted the world to mean that it reflects heaven's meaning, we're saying that we now look AT the translated version, a sort of copy of the world, which is a different way of looking at it.

So when ACIM talks of earth translating into heaven etc it's not really saying that a meaningless world, having the meaning of God projected ONTO it, reflected back, now is actually a meaningful world. But that the REFLECTION is meaningful, and the TRANSLATED alternative dream which INTERPRETS the world is heaven-like. You are then seeing what you put there to see, rather than necessarily what is there. Because really the world is not there at all.

Our task then is simply to recognize that we do not want the translations that are converting the world into a hell-like language, and we instead want to "read into" the world a heaven-like language. We want the Holy Spirit's translation of the world, his purpose for it, his use of it, instead of what the ego is trying to "make of" it or use it for. And that applies to the body too.

"Miracles are merely the translation of denial into truth."

"The ability to perceive made the body possible, because you must perceive SOMETHING, and WITH something. This is why perception involves an exchange, or a translation, which knowledge does NOT need. The interpretive function of perception, (actually, a distorted form of creation), then permitted man to interpret the body as HIMSELF, which, although depressing, was a way out of the conflict he induced."

"Thus are the Holy Spirit's lesson plans arranged in easy steps, that, though there be some lack of ease at times, and some distress, there is no shattering of what was learned, but just a re-translation of what seems to be the evidence on its behalf."

"For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. 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."

""Father, Christ's vision is Your gift to me, and it has power to translate all that the body's eyes behold into the sight of a forgiven world. How glorious and gracious is this world! Yet how much more will I perceive in it than sight can give."

"For the instant of peace is eternal, BECAUSE it is wholly WITHOUT fear. It WILL come, being the lesson God gives you, through the Teacher HE has appointed, to translate time to eternity."

"Blessed is God's Teacher, Whose joy it is to teach God's holy Son his holiness. His joy is not contained in time. His teaching is for you, BECAUSE His joy is yours. Through Him, YOU stand before God's altar, where He gently translated hell into Heaven."

"Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world. It has no meaning here. Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth. For being Heaven-borne, it has no form at all. Yet God created One Who has the power to translate into form the wholly formless."

"Forgiveness is the ONLY function meaningful in time. It is the means the Holy Spirit uses to TRANSLATE specialness from sin into salvation. "

"For to RECOGNIZE fear is not enough to escape FROM it, although the recognition IS necessary to demonstrate the NEED for escape. The Holy Spirit must still TRANSLATE it into truth. If you were LEFT with the fear, having RECOGNIZED it, you would have taken a step AWAY from reality, not TOWARD it."

"Never forget that the Holy Spirit does not depend on your words. He understands the requests of your heart and answers them. Does this mean that, while attack remains attractive to you He will respond with evil? Hardly! For God has given Him the power to translate your prayers of the heart into His language. He understands that an attack is a call for help. And He responds with help accordingly."

"Miracles are natural to God, and to the One Who speaks for Him. For His task is to TRANSLATE the miracle into the knowledge which it REPRESENTS, and which IS lost to you."

"However UNholy the reason why you made them may be, He can TRANSLATE them into holiness, by removing AS MUCH FEAR AS YOU WILL LET HIM. You can place ANY relationship under His care, and be sure that it will NOT result in pain, if you offer Him your willingness TO HAVE IT SERVE NO NEED BUT HIS." "Every attack is a call for His patience, because ONLY His patience can translate attack into blessing."

"Thus does the Holy Spirit replace fear with love, and translate error into truth. And thus will YOU learn of Him how to replace your dream of separation with the fact of unity."

"When a child is helped to translate his "ghost" into a curtain, his "monster" into a shadow and his "dragon" into a dream, he is no longer afraid, and laughs happily at his own fear."

"The Holy Spirit, as always, takes what you have made and translates it into a learning device FOR you. Again, as always, it re-interprets what the ego uses as an argument FOR separation into an argument AGAINST it."

"Forgiveness is this world's equivalent of Heaven's justice. It translates the world of sin into a simple world, where justice can be reflected from BEYOND the gate behind which total lack of limits lies."

"The miracle-worker begins by PERCEIVING light, and translates HIS perception into sureness by continually extending it, and ACCEPTING ITS ACKNOWLEDGMENT."

"Vision is the means by which the Holy Spirit translates your nightmares into happy dreams; your wild hallucinations, that show you all fearful outcomes of imagined sin, into the calm and reassuring sights with which He would replace them. These gentle sights and sounds are looked on happily, and heard with joy. They are HIS substitutes for all the terrifying sights and screaming sounds the ego's purpose brought to your horrified awareness. They step AWAY from sin, reminding you that it is NOT reality that frightens you, and that the errors which you made CAN be corrected."

"By RE-INTERPRETING the ability to ATTACK, which you DID make, into the ability to SHARE, He TRANSLATES what you have made, into what God created."

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