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Is it truly helpful to just view all worldly tragedies as "not real"?
Question: What would you call the collective experience of the people in the Middle East? Collective implies plural, but it cannot be, right? It is unreal by definition since there is only one MInd. I know people with amazing faith who have been tortured and betrayed. They did not think it was possible either. As an abstract concept, unreality is all very clean. The question of helpfulness is another matter.
Answer: Thanks for writing. It seemed that for years and years the Holy Spirit kept whispering one thought to me over and over and over, again and again: "It is your lesson." At every turn and every temptation to project the split in the mind to the screen of the world, there was always this ever present gentle reminder. I was reminded literally tens of thousands of times that I was looking through a darkened glass and was hallucinating and imagining a world of complete unreality. It was actually a tremendous relief to give my mind and attention so fully, so completely, to applying the principles of the Course to everything I perceived. I used the lessons of the ACIM Workbook as if the experience of my very life, my state of mind, depended on NOT making any exceptions to the "transfer of training" at which the Course aims. Theology truly is laid aside in the experience of peace, for belief and concepts have no validity in the Present Moment. I now see that there is no universal theology, because God and Christ and Spirit ARE Universal and theology was the ego's attempt to explain the impossible. The Holy Spirit led me to release the impossible and to accept the wholly possible as inevitable.
I remember reading and experiencing the peace of Lesson 14: "God did not create a meaningless world." I remember applying the lesson as Christ instructed me to do: "The idea for today is another step in learning to let go the thoughts that you have written on the world, and see the Word of God in their place. The early steps in this exchange, which can truly be called salvation, can be quite difficult and even quite painful. Some of them will lead you directly into fear. You will not be left there. You will go far beyond it. Our direction is toward perfect safety and perfect peace.
With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its reality. God did not create it, and so it is not real. Say, for example:
God did not create that war, and so it is not real. God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real. God did not create that disaster [specify], and so it is not real.
Suitable subjects for the application of today's idea also include anything you are afraid might happen to you, or to anyone about whom you are concerned. In each case, name the 'disaster' quite specifically. Do not use general terms. For example, do not say,'God did not create illness,' but,'God did not create cancer,' or heart attacks, or whatever may arouse fear in you.
This is your personal repertory of horrors at which you are looking. These things are part of the world you see. Some of them are shared illusions, and others are part of your personal hell. It does not matter. What God did not create can only be in your own mind apart from His. Therefore, it has no meaning. In recognition of this fact, conclude the practice periods by repeating today's idea:
God did not create a meaningless world."
This lesson is the very reason why attack is impossible. This lesson is the experience that there can never be a victim or even the slightest mistreatment or abuse of anything or anyone. A world of pleasure and pain, of good and bad, of health and sickness, of peace and war, of life and death simply cannot be created by Absolute Oneness and Divine Love. And I discovered it was far easier to change my mind on this point than it was to continue fighting against accepting it as true.
I surrendered the attempt at being right about duality and multiplicity. I came into a moment of true humility. Instead of telling God how to be God, and telling God how reality must be, I decided to let the Holy Spirit inform and illuminate my mind. I discovered that ACIM was a practical tool and that Christ meant exactly what was Given as instruction. Everything once believed about the world was overturned in one profound experience.
Now I am happy. I am no longer identified with a "personality self,” and gone from mind are beliefs about persons, places, things, groups, countries, and the collective consciousness of humankind. I see that Who I am is Who everyone is. If it be true for the One Mind, it cannot be that a contradictory experience is possible as well, for there is nothing but this One Mind. Peace is its own reward, for it is the experience that reflects the Love of God. The body eyes and ears and senses seem to report differences, yet the healed mind has only one category for them: they are not real. A peaceful perception of the world arises from the awareness of the inability to judge. God does not judge, and the Holy Spirit restores a darkened mind to sanity by seeing the false as false. A "human mind" is false, for what God creates and what reflects God shares the attributes of its Creator. The thought of a collective experience of war or strife is a Call for Love, and if one is looking at the world through the darkened glass of the ego this is one's own Call to return to sanity. Distorted perception is the only error to be released, and it can be said that to see partially is not to see at all. There comes the Point in which error is seen as nonexistent arrogance, and healed perception is experienced with humility. Thanks be to the Grace of God Which knows of the Oneness of Love.
I am joined with You as One in the experience of peace. My peace I extend freely, for there is literally nothing else to extend. Peace be with You this moment and always.