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Switch to Forum Live View Changeless Reality (T-30.VIII)
10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 9:44AM #1
Posts: 122
God day blessings:  Our group is coming to an end to the text study. It has taken some 7 sevens to move through the book a third time with own study I can add another 2 times and many times re-reading insightful passages for days since 1988... Anyway  last night we read and talk about the last two sections in Chp. 30.  I would to have a little dialogue on these passages. Hope some of you have the time.

VIII. Changeless Reality:

Appearances deceive, but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearances you are deceived. For everything you see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form, and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.

2.The miracle is means to demonstrate that all appearances can change because they are appearances, and cannot have the changelessness reality entails. The miracle attests salvation from appearances by showing they can change. Your brother has a changelessness in him beyond appearance and deception, both. It is obscured by changing views of him that you perceive as his reality. The happy dream about him takes the form of the appearance of his perfect health, his perfect freedom from all forms of lack, and safety from disaster of all kinds. The miracle is proof he is not bound by loss or suffering in any form, because it can so easily be changed. This demonstrates that it was never real, and could not stem from his reality. For that is changeless, and has no effects that anything in Heaven or on earth could ever alter. But appearances are shown to be unreal because they change.

4.Reality is changeless. Miracles but show what you have interposed between reality and your awareness is unreal, and does not interfere at all. The cost of the belief there must be some appearances beyond the hope of change is that the miracle cannot come forth from you consistently. For you have asked it be withheld from power to heal all dreams. There is no miracle you cannot have when you desire healing. But there is no miracle that can be given you unless you want it. Choose what you would heal, and He Who gives all miracles has not been given freedom to bestow His gifts upon God's Son. When he is tempted, he denies reality. And he becomes the willing slave of what he chose instead.

5.Because reality is changeless is a miracle already there to heal all things that change, and offer them to you to see in happy form, devoid of fear. It will be given you to look upon your brother thus. But not while you would have it otherwise in some respects. For this but means you would not have him healed and whole. The Christ in him is perfect. Is it this that you would look upon? Then let there be no dreams about him that you would prefer to seeing this. And you will see the Christ in him because you let Him come to you. And when He has appeared to you, you will be certain you are like Him, for He is the changeless in your brother and in you.

In the previous section: vll 'The New Interpretation' the last paragraph is a good answer for the above post...

7. Do not interpret out of solitude, for what you see means nothing. It will shift in what it stands for, and you will believe the world is an uncertain place, in which you walk in danger and uncertainty. It is but your interpretations which are lacking in stability, for they are not in line. with what you really are. This is a state so seemingly unsafe that fear must rise. Do not continue thus, my brother. We have one Interpreter. And through His use of symbols are we joined, so that they mean the same to all of us. Our common language lets us speak to all our brothers, and to understand with them forgiveness has been given to us all, and thus we can communicate again....

"This last line says in effect, when we see that we see the same thing  (my brother and I) without appearance but as they are...than a line of communication has opened.  In symbolic is liken to two individual body-cells coming together both knowing they have something in common, a common purpose and are joined together to become one and in this process adding greater stature to both.   More clearly perhaps. If we come together on one thing, then both expand their awareness of the other,  and now what before was two individuals have become two joined together as one...thus both have become extensions of one another.  What they are as individuals is not lost, but a greater awareness of our Christ nature has come.  By this process is the Kingdom extended..and automatically opens for even more waking soul to enter...

Any thoughts on these passages? 

with peace j
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 4:52PM #2
Posts: 178
I've created this thread to provide a specific place for pursuing the discussion which "spiritheart" has invited in a recent post to another thread. I'm moving his request to this thread, since it really initiates a new discussion topic.

- Joe
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2008 - 11:44AM #3
Posts: 122
Thanks joe... This particluar topic meant so much to me this last go of the things that is amazing about any book...discernment cerainly depends on one's attitude of the moment.  How we may or nor respond to an idea given in a book, any book or conversation, or experience is really very abstact... thus appearances can and do  change from one mind to another... this inconsistancy is the cause of fear, or imbalance...when even in the most desparate human being, a sense of permenance  a subscious goal at the very least.

The ego cannot offer perenance, because of its homage to separation... When i share with some people that I intend to see peace on earth in my lift time....most move back, or may acknownledge that I have a nice dream, but no way!

But because I have seen it, felt it, been inspire by it this idea since a young boy....and even in the middle of the battle field when I was in viet nam...did this peace come again as say...remember what life is! There is no death.

and that is exactly what we are doing every time two human beings come together to discuss the least with the body senses.  But many of know this is real because we feel it like a warm blanket over us on a cold winter night.  There is something about Hope that inspires a faith that does not have to see 'miracles' per-se, but they certainly reinforce the idea we are not alone.

I choose this topic 'appearances' vs 'reality' as another example of how assumptions truly interfer with our peace.  IN nature we are awed by the perfect balance in which various ecosystem thrive...and saddened, when they become out of balance and begin to disenigrate as it were.  Within the ecosystem we call humanity, becomes so diverse, it too begin s to disingrate, we lose sight of the balance, which in worldly terms reflects happiness, joy, abundance, assurance, peace, healthly realtionship, compassion, empathy...etc,
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2008 - 7:17PM #4
Posts: 178
Setting out to discuss an entire section in the Text is a pretty ambitious undertaking! This particular section could probably be the focus of an extended workshop or class. But I'll make a few general comments now and perhaps address the section and your remarks, "spiritheart," more specifically later on.

The title of the section hearkens back to the Introduction to the Text where it is stated: "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God." In order for something to be threatened it must be capable of change. But the true reality of God -- the reality of spirit -- is changeless, which is why it cannot be threatened. Everything that is commonly regarded as real by us illusory denizens of the illusory world can change and certainly can be threatened. And of course our perceptions of self and others are quite variable, which is why it is not uncommon in the world to regard love and hate as two sides of the same coin. Indeed they are, since what the world commonly regards as love is what the Course calls "special love." And special hate is just another expression of specialness, which is implicated in special love. Special love always carries with it resentment (a milder word for hatred), because it regards the object of one's "love" as having something that one lacks.

In this section (T-30.VIII) the phrase "reality is changeless" is repeated four times. I think that one thing involved here is the contrast between what the Course calls knowledge with what it calls perception. Knowledge is the experience of that changeless reality which is spirit and the Mind of God. It is an experience of the eternal and the "changeless reality" which cannot be perceived, only known: "Perception changes, made to take the place of changeless knowledge. Yet is truth unchanged. It cannot be perceived, but only known. What is perceived takes many forms, but none has meaning. Brought to truth, its senselessness is quite apparent. Kept apart from truth, it seems to have a meaning and be real" (T-26.VII.3:4-9).

In the world of illusions (the world and the bodily self we believe in) where the body and its perceptions seems real, while perception was made by the ego in the service of separation, still the Holy Spirit can give perception another meaning. And that is what forgiveness is about: "In God you cannot see. Perception has no function in God, and does not exist. Yet in salvation, which is the undoing of what never was, perception has a mighty purpose. Made by the Son of God for an unholy purpose, it must became the means for the restoration of his holiness to his awareness. Perception has no meaning. Yet does the Holy Spirit give it a meaning very close to God's. Healed perception becomes the means by which the Son of God forgives his brother, and thus forgives himself" (W-pI.3.2).
Another important theme in the Course which is implicated in this section of the Text is the contrast between form and content. This subject is quite directly related to the contrast between perception and knowledge. Form is basically anything that can be perceived in any way as well as given the form of a concept held in the brain. Content refers to thought, and basically there only two categories of thought in our mind: 1) the ego thought system of sin (separation), guilt and fear; and 2) the Holy Spirit thought system of oneness (non-separation), innocence and love. Forgiveness requires the "miracle" of changing our minds so that within the illusion our perceptions are informed by the thought system of the Holy Spirit. Yet is is important to recognize that all form is illusion. That includes the form that we think we are as well as the form that we think is something other than ourself, whether it be another person or a so-called "inanimate object."

From the Glossary-Index for ACIM: "form - content: the world's multitude of forms conceals the simplicity of their content: truth or illusion, love or fear; the ego attempts to convince us our problems are on the level of form, so that their underlying content - fear - escapes notice and correction; the Holy Spirit corrects all our seeming problems at their source -- the mind -- healing the ego's content of fear with His Love and demonstrating that there is no order of difficulty in miracles or problem solving."

Finally, in any discussion of the Course it is important to recognize that its message is directed to us as mind, or the Son of God who has forgotten that he is Christ and now seems to have a split mind with the necessity of learning to choose between the ego the the Holy Spirit. The "you" to whom the Course is addressed is us as mind with the power of choice -- the power to choose between the two thought systems. The Course is not addressed to the illusory self we think we are, nor to the brain which is merely an organ of that illusory self with no power of choice. The brain is controlled by the mind, which is cause, while what goes on with the body and its brain is effect. Basically the body and its brain are lifeless puppets controlled by the mind.

In order to make good use of the Course we have to learn how to rise above the illusion of ourselves as body to the reality of ourselves as mind with the power of decision: ""What has been given you?  The knowledge that you are a mind, in Mind and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid, because you were created out of Love. Nor have you left your Source, remaining as you were created" (W-pI.158.1:1-3).

"Forget not that the choice of sin or truth, helplessness or power, is the choice of whether to attack or heal. For healing comes of power, and attack of helplessness. Whom you attack you cannot want to heal. And whom you would have healed must be the one you chose to be protected from attack. And what is this decision but the choice whether to see him through the body's eyes, or let him be revealed to you through vision [i.e., the perception of the Holy Spirit]? How this decision leads to its effects is not your problem. But what you want to see must be your choice. This is a course in cause and not effect" (T-21.VII.7; bracket mine).

- Joe
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2008 - 7:44PM #5
Posts: 178
I found some remarks made by Kenneth Wapnick about "Changeless Reality". These were made in Part XXIV of his workshop, "What It Means To Be A Teacher of God" found transcribed on the FACIM Web site. The bold excerpts from the Course come from that section of Text Chapter 9 entitled: "How Is Correction Made?" (T-9.III)

(6:1-2) You cannot correct yourself. Is it possible, then, for you to correct another?

I cannot correct myself. Only the Holy Spirit can. So if I cannot do that for myself, what makes me believe I can do it for you? Of course, it is my ego that wants me to believe that I can correct you, because that proves that we are separate: You are wrong and I am right.

(6:3) Yet you can see him truly, because it is possible for you to see yourself truly.

And that, of course, is possible only by accepting the Holy Spirit as my Teacher and my Friend, and listening to what He says.

(6:4) It is not up to you to change your brother, but merely to accept him as he is.

I do not attack you for making a mistake. And I do not have the need to insist that, since you made the mistake, you have to fix it. I simply see you as my brother in Christ without any difference. At that point, the Love of the Holy Spirit will work through me. Whatever I say or do -- and it may take the form of correcting the problem or fixing a situation -- would then be loving. It would not be done in a spirit of attack or separation.

(6:5) His errors do not come from the truth that is in him, and only this truth is yours.

His errors come because he has made the same wrong choice that I have made. He chose to listen to the ego. If I attack you for choosing the ego, obviously I am making that same mistake real for myself.

(6:6) His errors cannot change this, and can have no effect at all on the truth in you.

His errors cannot change truth. The ego thought system began with the fundamental teaching that the Son of God's error affected truth and changed it. That is why the Course talks about "changeless reality," as a lovely section near the end of the text is called (T-30.VIII). Another section in the text is called "The Changeless Dwelling Place" (T-29.V). And in the manual we read earlier that "reality is changeless" (M-18.1:5).

That is the Atonement principle. Reality cannot be changed by all my silly thoughts; my dreams have had no effect. If I have a nightmare, it has no effect on the reality that I am sleeping safely in my bed. Similarly, all our silly dreams about attacking God and making up a world and attacking each other have had no effect on reality. But if I become upset by your mistake and I want to prove you wrong and find others to agree with me, then I am saying that reality has been changed. If what you do here is important to me, that can only mean in my mind that you and I are here. What we do here can be important only if we believe that there is a "here." And if we believe there is a "here," then we are saying that there is not a "there" -- meaning Heaven -- because it is one or the other.

(6:7-8) To perceive errors in anyone, and to react to them as if they were real, is to make them real to you. You will not escape paying the price for this, not because you are being punished for it, but because you are following the wrong guide and will therefore lose your way.

The price we pay is the experience of alienation, depression, sadness, anger, anxiety, tension, guilt, etc. Not that God is punishing us for seeing error, but we are punishing ourselves by continuing to separate ourselves from God, Who is our only source of peace, happiness, and love.
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 11:46AM #6
Posts: 122
Joe...wonderful follow up.  I think the last post (6:7-8) pretty much sums up the idea I was implying... I might even go a little further in saying not only to perceive errors in others, but in any thought that brings the price for mis-judgement as you say.

Whether consciously or subconsciously most of humanity is locked into daulity percetions... swinging back and forth from joy to suffering... I suppose the joyful expereince is short lived because of our perceptions on why we are feeling joy in the first place. (eartly treasures/desires) being temporary it must have been a false affection sort of speak.  Like the apparent joy a dog chasing after its tail.  Pointless really, but boy does he think he's on to something.

8: 6 (Last paragraph in 'changless reality)

"This will you look upon when you decide there is not one (appearance) you would hold in place of what your brother really is. Let no temptation to prefer a dream allow uncertainty to enter here. Be not made guilty and afraid when you are tempted by a dream of what he is. But do not give it power to replace the changeless in him in your sight of him. There is no false appearance but will fade, if you request a miracle instead. There is no pain from which he is not free, if you would have him be what he is. Why should you fear to see the Christ in him? You but behold yourself in what you see. As he is healed are you made free of guilt, for his appearance is your own to you...."

Looking for permenance, is quite a understaking in the world that appears to be forever changing...we say oh look this is good, this is better,  or this is bad, and this is worse... so we get into a mind set of avoidance... believing if something 'negative' is not happenng to me now,  than I can turn my eyes away from the fact it is happening elsewhere...though in a little dark corner of my little mind I  think it appears to be still there.

I think Workbook lesson 236 sheds much Light on the above idea:

"I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.

I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the Will of God.

Father, my mind is open to Your Thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours. I rule my mind, and offer it to You. Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me..."

peace be with everyone! j
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