Through the study of ACIM, we begin to understand that God did not create the world, but that the world is simply an effect, a result of our thinking.
Lesson 14 (page 23) “What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.”
At first glance, this can be an extremely unsettling concept, but on further contemplation, we begin to see the power and freedom that lies within its acceptance. If, indeed, the world is of our own making, all power is ours to perceive it in whatever way is helpful to our peace of mind. We are given all power to make it whatever we want it to be. We are in charge of the world rather than being bound by it. It’s fierce grip on our minds loosens and we find some sense of freedom in knowing that, perhaps, through our misperception of the world, we have falsely imprisoned our consciousness and that through new and expanded awareness we will find liberation.
Lesson 190 (page 362) “My holy brother, think of this awhile: The world you see does nothing. It has no effects at all. It merely represents your thoughts. And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind, and choose the joy of God as what you really want. Your Self is radiant in this holy joy, unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable, forever and forever.”
This is the truth of each of us—it is a reality we share. It is a deep internal certainty that has nothing to do with the world outside of us or with what we do or what we are in that world. We are asked simply to shift our constant focus from outside ourselves to a deeper interior listening and awareness where we can be taught to live more from an inner than from an outer reality. Slowly, but inevitably, our minds will evolve to accept that “there is nothing outside of us.” All of this occurs only on the level of consciousness. The ego will argue that when we look out with our bodies eyes, the world is all we see. How could we ever perceive it as not there? But it is not the ego we will learn this from. We will learn it from the part of our minds we share with God.
Text (page 384) “There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is the realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within.”
To be willing to simply stop for an instant and consider the concept that there IS NOTHING OUTSIDE OF US takes courage and an open mind. To whatever extent we entertain this thought . . . to whatever degree we begin to accept it, we will find freedom.
That’s not to say this is an easy concept to work with-it is a definite leap for us to accept the idea that God did not create the world. It flies completely in the face of everything we have been taught since the beginning of time and, as well, renders us solely responsible for the way we experience the world.
Lesson 132 (page 242) “The world is nothing in itself. Your mind must give it meaning. And what you behold upon it are your wishes, acted out so you can look on them and think them real. Perhaps you think you did not make the world, but came unwillingly to what was made already, hardly waiting for your thoughts to give it meaning. Yet in truth you found exactly what you looked for when you came.”
To even begin to consider this idea is daunting, but in truth, it is our only way out---for if within us lies the power to create the world as we experience it; that same power can be used by us to free ourselves. Lesson 132 “There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.”
Text (page 445) “Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”
page 413 What is the World?
Sherri Stone 3/24/04
As we close our eyes, we surrender to the quiet center deep within. And from this quiet center, we let go of everything outside of us to become slowly aware that ultimately there is nothing outside of us. Nothing exists but that which is in our minds here and now. And in the here and now, we, together, and as one, invite only the Presence of the Holy Spirit to occupy or consciousness.
In the shared reality of this Presence, we sense a vastness that includes everyone, everything, everywhere--but none of it is outside of us at all—it all exists here in our minds in this eternal moment of now. All that seemed to be outside is not outside after all-it all begins here, here in our consciousness.
A consciousness filled with the light and power of the Holy Spirit, a part of our minds that stretches to and connects us with infinity. The world exists not outside of us, but here within the vastness we now experience.
Within our vastness lies profound peace, lasting gentleness and a quiet stillness that cannot be disturbed. Within our vastness lies a depth of love so powerful that it is capable of healing all fear and ending all suffering forever more. Within our vastness lies a light so brilliant and radiant that it shines away all darkness, doubt and uncertainty. Within our vastness lies a power so great that it literally lifts us out of the world and reveals to us that the world is nothing but an extension of that which we hold within our minds.
Upon knowing this, we pledge here and now, to use the power of our minds to forgive and release, to set free and to love; to focus only on our vastness, for it is from our vastness that we will discover our inner truth and reality. It is from our vastness we will rise from the bondage of the world and find our freedom. It is from our vastness we will learn of and experience the certain liberation of realizing there is no world outside of us-and from that realization our internal power rises and expands to return the memory to all minds “we have overcome the world” and we are free!
And so it is—AMEN