By Gary Renard
One of the most important tenets of “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM), if you are actually interested in doing the Course, could be put in just four words: Don’t make it real.
More specifically, don’t make this illusion of a world or anything in it real in your mind because the world you see is your projection, which has no inherent reality. With the Course, you don’t forgive people because they really did something to you; you don’t forgive situations because they’re really happening; and you don’t forgive the events you see on the news because they are true. You forgive everything because nothing has really happened except in a dream of your own making; a script you authored and then forgot you made up. As the Course puts it, “We forgive our brother for what he hasn’t done.”
If ACIM is saying anything, it’s saying nothing has happened, and that “The full awareness of the Atonement is that the separation (from God) never occurred.” And because people haven’t really done anything, they are innocent. Few people like that idea at first, until an associated fact sinks in. And the truth of that statement doesn’t just mean other people are innocent. The most important thing is it must also mean that you are innocent. And you get in touch with your own innocence by seeing it everywhere.
The Secret to Salvation
Once in a while something will happen where I’m tempted to be upset. Maybe I’m on the Internet and I read someone saying something very nasty about me. Never mind that they never met me, don’t know me, and have no idea what they’re talking about. You would think, given the confidence with which they make their pronouncements, that they know everything about me. There are a lot of angry people out there, and the Internet is the perfect place for them to project their unconscious guilt onto others. Of course they don’t know that they’re projecting. They just think they’re right and their anger is justified. But as the Course would say to them, “Anger is never justified,” and “Attack has no foundation.” Indeed, the Course even gives us the secret to salvation: “You are doing this unto yourself.”
So, if I’m tempted to be upset, then I have to catch myself and stop. If I’m feeling upset I must be making it real. Why? Because if I wasn’t making it real then I wouldn’t be upset. The second that I remember the truth, the uncomfortableness goes away.
Every now and then I’ll get an e-mail with a complaint, or several complaints about something; my books are too absolute and uncompromising, my jokes are too smart assed, etc. Invariably, the e-mail concludes with the words, “I forgive you.” I write back to them saying, no, they haven’t forgiven me or their grievance. If they learned ACIM they’d know that the problem is, “You have made it real, and so you cannot forgive it.”
Practicing True Forgiveness
Not making it real is the smoothest short cut to practicing true forgiveness. Knowing there is a truth just beyond the illusory veil, a world unseen yet truly there, and that the world we see is a trick of the ego, makes it possible to get to the fact of the matter quickly instead of losing our peace. As a character once said in a movie, “The Matrix is an illusion to pull the wool over your eyes and stop you from seeing the real world.” Of course the movie didn’t go all the way and acknowledge God as the truth beyond the illusion, but hey, it’s a good start.
Thinking that people are bodies, and those bodies are real, is what the Course would call egocentricity. In a message to Helen Schucman, the scribe of the Course, Jesus was talking to her about always saying yes to people and not being able to say no. He brought up Edgar Cayce, who worked relentlessly and died younger than he should have, as an example of not being able to say no. Then Jesus made a very interesting statement, “If you cannot say no to the requests of others, you have not yet overcome egocentricity.”
If you can’t say no, then you’re saying to your own mind this is a real person, and they have a real problem, and this problem really has to be solved, and you’re the one who really has to solve it. And by extension you’re saying you are also a real body in a real world. You’re making the whole enchilada true. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t help people. But if you do, then you should do it after asking the Holy Spirit, if there is time. And don’t help them out of guilt or because you think you have to. Help them as an expression of love.
In the future, when the human race has a deeper understanding of quantum physics, recognizes the illusory nature of the universe more completely, and begins to understand the cause and process of projection, then the idea of forgiveness will make much more sense and be seen as the self-forgiving dynamic that it is. But you don’t have to wait for the world. You can end your suffering forever, in this lifetime. You can do this by recognizing that everyone you meet and everything in this world is a symbolic representation of that which is hidden in your own unconscious mind. And by forgiving what you see, you are forgiving yourself. Thus will your mind be healed through the activation of Spirit. And when it is completely healed you will have the peace of God and attain the state of enlightenment.
Forgiveness of everything and everyone you perceive, by not making it real and instead choosing the reality of Spirit, is necessary if you are to experience complete forgiveness for yourself. As “A Course in Miracles” asks you, “Can you to whom God says, ‘Release My Son!’ be tempted not to listen, when you learn that it is you for whom He asks release? And what but this is what this course would teach? And what but this is there for you to learn?”
ABOUT GARY RENARD
Gary Renard is the bestselling author of “The Disappearance of the Universe” trilogy, including “Your Immortal Reality,” and his latest, “Love Has Forgotten No One: The Answer to Life ” — all based on “A Course in Miracles.” As a teacher and worldwide speaker, Renard has taught “A Course in Miracles” in 24 countries and 43 states, appeared in seven documentary movies, won the Infinity Foundation Spirit Award, and hosts a monthly podcast. For more information, visit www.garyrenard.com.