A course to end all dreaming- that’s what A Course in Miracles is. All ego dreams, sleeping or waking, are based in fear. Whether the plot be pleasurable or painful, triumphant or ends in loss, ego dreams are spawned in mind asleep and dreaming of separation. In those dreams we are separated from God and our brothers, and feel split within our own mind. What good can possibly come from dreams that seek to prove that separation is reality?
A world in which we are born into a body that lives a little while and then grows old and dies is the dream that Jesus, teacher of resurrection, will awaken us from if only we will listen to him and do as he says. Resistance is strong because we believe our little lives, pitiful as they may be, are what we are. It is a mistake to be corrected, not a sin to be punished.
Jesus makes a distinction in his course that is still unknown to most of the world. The distinction is fundamental to learning and applying the Course’s lessons so that they change the way we see the world. To the individual it is a prison or a playground, determined by whether our specialness gets what it wants or not. When we get our way it is a playground. When we don’t, it is a prison. Our response when we don’t like the way things go is to change behavior or circumstances. To Jesus the world is a classroom for changing our minds. The problem is we don’t know we have a mind.
In the Course Jesus teaches us that the brain is not the mind. It is part of the body, the manifestation of the thought of separation. Its function is given it by the ego that treasures specialness and individuality and seeks only to prove our personhood is true. The effect is to keep us mindless and asleep. Unaware that we have a mind we can never change it. This is significant because it is the mind not the body that awakens or resurrects. Resurrection is the lesson Jesus learned that “most of all he would have us learn.” C5. 6:8 How can we learn it if we choose to remain asleep and dreaming, believing what our brains and bodies tell us? This is the ego’s fool proof defense of its false identity. But it is not “God proof”.
The world misunderstood Jesus’ earlier teaching of the resurrection over 2000 years ago because it did not have the education that Jesus is now giving us in A Course in Miracles. It could only assume that the body resurrected because it did not know about a mind, let alone how to change it. In learning that our home is in the mind and that minds are joined we can become happy learners of another way that ends dreaming through the gentle path of forgiveness. Forgiveness is something anyone can do simply because it requires nothing of us but a little willingness to learn from a teacher other than our ego. It is a level playing field on which everyone is equally qualified to join Jesus in what he calls “a game that happy children play.” W-p1.153.12:1
Forgiveness, the miracle, the holy instant, and the holy relationship are all terms used in the Course for the return to the mind. They signify stepping above the world’s battleground and joining Jesus in true humility and willingness to be taught. We cannot teach ourselves because we are the problem– the dreamer of fearful dreams in which everything dies. Who would doubt Jesus advice: “Resign now as your own teacher, for you have been badly taught.” T-12…V.8:3
If we knew for certain that the world is a dream we would not hesitate to leave it. It is forgiveness that shows us its unreality. Jesus overcame the world by not believing in it and we must do the same. It is not by struggling against it, but through the process of forgiveness that we learn the world cannot affect us, and ultimately that it does not exist at all. “There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach.” W-p1…132.6:2,3
Jesus is waiting for our resignation as our own teacher to give him the chance to show us that we can never be harmed, or hurt, or suffer, or die. Pain of any kind is a dream of punishment for a crime that never happened in the Mind of God where we reside. God does not sleep, nor dream, and we are like Him and not as we have made ourselves. Nor can we leave His Mind except in sleep.
“From the heart, may it go to the heart.”