OK, will begin, as usual with Ken.
“Beyond this world is the real world, the rightminded place of truth. Jesus appeals here to our minds’ power to choose between the two: the ego’s shadowy world of guilt and hate; or the Holy Spirit’s light-filled world of Atonement that reflects His Love.
It is not enough to be told the world is worthless, without the next step. Inherent in the above statements (1:1-2), is looking with Jesus, which means being with him. This reminds us there is another choice we have made, for another teacher. If we look at our world through the ego’s eyes, we will be depressed and ultimately homicidal and suicidal. Looking through the eyes of Jesus, we learn to smile at everything that happens – personally and collectively. This smile is impossible unless his eyes are our, and we stand beside his love. Only then have we truly and happily chosen to see another world beyond this one.
One of ACIM’s greatest contributions is its stripping away illusions of the world’s notions of truth and falsity, life and death, spirit and matter, love and hate. Covering our pain with thoughts and perceptions of beauty, goodness, truth, and love do not lead to escape from our guilt. To the contrary. Only forgiveness brings about true escape, returning us to the timeless, and to the beauty, goodness, truth, and love that are beyond all form. These are reflected in the real world, the last step before our return to Heaven and to our Self.
Jesus tells us: “Of course, you are not going to lose anything; look at the eternal gift I offer in its place.” However, as long as we identify with our bodies and specialness, we will believe giving up things in this world involves sacrifice and loss. Thus we need a teacher to instruct us differently.”
In response to 5:3-5, Ken writes:
“The things we perceive in the world are simply shadows of the mind’s thoughts of separation, sin and guilt. It is from these thoughts alone that we loose ourselves. The decision maker looks at the ego with Jesus and says: “I made a mistake. I no longer want the thought system of individuality but your love. I no longer need the world as a defense to protect and preserve my separate identity by keeping my mind hidden.”
Recall that the ego’s purpose for the world is mindlessness, which it accomplishes through inculcating the fear of changing our minds and choosing a different Teacher. When we no longer fear His love, valuing God’s Love more than the ego’s specialness, we cease trying to protect ourselves from the mind, which becomes the aid in choosing the One Who will lead us home. Thus we have no need for a world, because we have no need to keep ourselves mindless.
The main point again, is that we do not free our minds from the things of the world, but from the guilt that gives the world its purpose. Once unbound from the nothingness of guilt, our minds are free to return to the Holy Spirit, Who gladly takes us across the bridge to the real world, the place of truth and beauty.”
“Beyond this world there is a world I want.
I choose to see that world instead of this,
for here is nothing that I really want.”
Ken writes, “You cannot say these words and mean them as long as you seek to preserve your specialness. Thus you need to pay careful attention to this desire, otherwise these will be but empty words that mean nothing. The exercises will not work, and you will believe you did your part, but Jesus and his course failed you. Try to get in touch with the thought that says: “I value my individuality, specialness, and being right more than I do the Love of God.”
Finally, Ken writes in response to the closing paragraph:
“it is not only important to remember your decision each hour, but throughout the day as well. When you become aware of ego thoughts – judgment, attack, and specialness – do not feel guilty but go quickly to Jesus for help to look at the situation differently. This means looking at the purpose you have given the situation, defending against his purpose of forgiveness that you are now ready to accept. Crucial to this process is recognizing that part of your mind does not want the world of light and love, but another part does; otherwise you would not be doing these lessons. Becoming aware of this split allows you to ask Jesus to help you change your mind, thereby saying, and truly meaning:
“The world I see holds nothing that I want.
Beyond this world there is a world I want.”
Have a good day!