The two paths - death and resurrection

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 1278 words 5 mins 40 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2021 Paul West

In this world, all things lead to death. It's as though a missile has been fired, flying through the sky, and hurtling toward the ground. There is a sense of inevitability of decay, that everything will just gradually erode and age and suffer and die eventually. As though this is the way of the world.

"The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt. Look carefully at this world, and you will realize that this is so. For this world is the symbol of punishment, and all the laws which seem to govern it are the laws of death. Children are born into it through pain and in pain. Their growth is attended by suffering, and they learn of sorrow and separation and death. Their minds are trapped in their brain, and its powers decline if their bodies are hurt. They seem to love, yet they desert, and are deserted. They appear to lose what they love, perhaps the most insane belief of all. And their bodies wither and gasp and are laid in the ground, and seem to be no more. Not one of them but has thought that God is cruel."

When you look at the world in this way you can't really help but notice this is the case, except if you are denial of this fact. And while in that denial you might be thinking the world isn't so bad, except that eventually it proves itself. "Real choice is no illusion. But the world has none to offer.

ALL its roads but lead to disappointment, nothingness and death. There IS no choice in its alternatives. Seek not ESCAPE from problems here. The world was made that problems could not BE escaped. Be not deceived by all the different names its roads are given. They have but one end. And each is but the means to GAIN that end, for it is here that all its roads will lead, however differently they seem to start; however differently they seem to go. Their end is certain, for there is no choice among them. All of them will lead to death. On some you travel gaily for a while, before the bleakness enters. And on some the thorns are felt at once. The choice is not WHAT will the ending be, but WHEN it comes."

I recognize that when I am looking with my ego, or my worldly earthly body-identified 'normal view', this is the view I am adopting. I am going along with this "plan" of the world that everything before my eyes will wither and die. "The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end."

This is just how the world functions. It's how we set it up. It's what we call "natural". So when the leaves fall from the trees we think this is totally normal. When the bodies lay in the graves we think this is totally normal. But this entire system is entirely unnatural and not at all like God's reality.

"Without the idea of death there is no world." When you are aligning yourself with God's reality, with heaven's true nature, you are in support of life. In fact you support eternal longevity. You reject all notions of decay, degradation and death. In fact you not only move away from the downward "arc" of death's direction, you move UPWARD in a direction towards God. In this direction there is an arrow pointing toward the sky, as things which were death come back to life, and life is restored, and things are working out, and there is healing and miracles and reasons for happiness.

After a while of trying to recognize that God's ways are upward-bound, and earth's ways spiral into the dirt, the two "systems" of thinking become more clearly distinguished. And they are very much opposed to each other. The contrast between the two "modes of perception" becomes more intense and obivous.

"Eventually, everybody begins to recognize, however dimly, that there MUST be a better way. As this recognition is more firmly established, it becomes a perceptual turning-point. This ultimately reawakens the spiritual eye, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two types or levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict for a long time, and can become very acute."

The world might be giving a message like "this is just going to get worse until there is death". But a God-aligned mind is asserting life, saying "This is going to get better and better until there is immortality." The two paths or viewpoints do not meet in the middle, they do not converge or agree with each other at all. They point in totally different directions - toward heaven or hell, towards life or death.

If you look at something happening and you say to yourself, this is real, and it's true, and this is natural, and this is how it's just going to be, and there is no hope and no future and eventually there's going to be death, then you're in the ego. You're falling for TEMPTATION. You're getting lost in the world and doing nothing to counteract its lies. Because the world is NOTHING like heaven and all its efforts are attempts to prove that sin is real and death is justified.

"This IS the "natural" condition of the separation. And those who learn that it is NOT natural at all, seem to be the UNnatural ones. For this world IS the opposite of Heaven, having been made to BE its opposite. And EVERYTHING here takes a direction EXACTLY opposite to what is true. In Heaven, where the meaning of love is known, love is the same as UNION. Here, where the ILLUSION of love is accepted IN ITS PLACE, love is perceived as separation and EXCLUSION."

To be in this world but OF ANOTHER WORLD, to be of God and heaven and yet with your feed on the earth, is to be UNNATURAL in terms of what the world thinks is natural. But in fact it is to be ABOVE the nature of the world - which means super-natural. It is the world that is unnatural. It is the world that is false and a lie. To recognize it for what it is, one has to adopt the upward-pointing resurrective miraculous path. Otherwise you are simply heading for the grave.

"Heaven remains your one alternative to this strange world you made 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 and attacks itself is not of Him. He did not make two minds, with Heaven as the glad effect of one, and earth the other's sorry outcome which is Heaven's opposite in every way."

"They take a direction EXACTLY opposite, pointing as clearly to Heaven as the ego points to darkness and to death. We have followed much of the ego's logic, and have seen its logical conclusions. And HAVING seen them, we have realized that they can NOT be seen but in delusions. For there alone their SEEMING clearness SEEMS TO BE CLEARLY SEEN. Let us now turn AWAY from them, and follow the simple logic, by which the Holy Spirit teaches you the simple conclusions that speak for truth, and ONLY truth."

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