In this second part of the ACIM series, I want to have a deeper look with you, on one of the most important concepts of A Course in Miracles (and other non-dual teachings), that the Universe is a dream.
In Part 1 I already talked about this, in the context of forgiveness, but since this is such an important point, I think it’s worth it to elaborate.

What does „Everything is a Dream“ mean?

There are many metaphors in ACIM, that are beautiful pictures, and we are invited to decipher them, to truly understand the deeper meaning.
„The Universe is a Dream“ is not one of them.
It’s not a metaphor. I’s meant literally.
So contrary to our belief, that movies like The Matrix or spiritual teachings from the Advaita Vedanta tradition etc. are only meant to be allegories and we have to understand what they really mean, they are much more like documentaries. It’s a fact, not fiction.
In other words: Everything you are experiencing through any of your senses (the five physical senses, as well as all non-physical senses like „energy“ and „intuition“) is an illusion.
Illusion doesn’t mean, that it’s not there – it only means, that it seems to be there, but actually isn’t.
So you don’t need to run around, telling yourself and everyone, that everything is an illusion, because there is no one you could tell that.
What it means is, that everything is Mind and everything in it, is made out of only one substance: Mind (also sometimes called consciousness, God etc.)
So the substance of the world is not matter, but Mind – and matter, bodies, brains and all „things“ in it, are made out of this one substance.

„There is no hierarchy of illusions“

When I heard the concept of „Everything is a Dream“ many years ago (I think it was through a book called „Sophies World“, when I was a teenager) and understood its implications mentally, it took many years and studying the teachers of countless philosophical as well as spiritual traditions from around the world, to sort out the misunderstandings I still had.
Basically I knew, that everything was a dream and illusionary, but I still believed, that there were some illusions, that were less illusionary as others.
The „less illusionary“ things I called (my) truth, and unfortunately no one noticed this hypocrisy – of course me neither…

Then came ACIM and I read these words: „There is no hierarchy of Illusions“.
There, in one sentence, was a wakeup call!
What this means is, that you can’t understand the illusionary nature of the Universe, and on the same time live your life as if there were differences in illusions!
In a very radical way this is saying, that everything in the perceived Universe is on the very same level.
So cancer is not any more meaningful as having a cold and taking a prescribed medication is not less spiritual as going to a Reiki healer.
As long as you are in the dream, everything you do, is part of the same dream. You are finding dream solutions for dreamt up problems.

As obvious as this seems, I have met many doctors, healers, therapists and seasoned spiritual practitioners and teachers over the years, who clearly oversee this basic principle. They all believe, that their special method is superior to others. They may even tell you, that they are aware of the world being a dream, but still behave as if there is a hierarchy of illusions inside the dream.

Waking up from the Dream

If you are aware, that everything is a dream and you are trying to wake up from the dream (to what is called „Truth“ or „Reality“) and you are using methods from inside the dream, you are basically screwed.
Anything you do inside the dream to wake up, is part of the very same dream (=dreamed up solutions for a dreamed up problem) and therefore confirming the seeming reality of the dream. These solutions are solidifying the dream. So what to do?

First you have to realize, that the dream (=not-truth) and Truth have nothing in common.
Everything that seems to be true inside of the dream, is not true in Reality.
Everything you see, hear, taste, feel or sense is part of the dream and is made out of the substance of illusion.
It’s basically hallucinating, that we are different from God_Oneness_Truth.
Even more so, the fact that you are seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling and sensing, is the proof that you are hallucinating!
As explained in Part 1 of this series, this separation from God has never really happened – that’s why it’s only imaginary.
So to wake up really means, to realize, that all the time you were only dreaming and everything you tried to wake up, was also part of the very same dream.
You never needed to wake up, because in Truth, nothing ever happened.

Now, this is hard to swallow – especially if you are hearing this for the first time. I basically just told you, that you are mad and you are a hallucinating schizophrenic. 😀

The bad news: There is no hope in this world!
The good news: There is no world!

As long as you believe there is hope in the world, you will keep on dreaming.
Waking up only becomes interesting to you, when you have lost all your hope in finding solutions inside the dream world.
Only then, you will find the only hope there is….

ACIM has a really good news for us! I don’t want to leave you in hopelessness and despair! 😉
There is one tiny thing inside the dream, that really can help us to wake up.
This tiny thing, is actually the only thing that is a remembrance of Truth.
It’s still part of the dream, but a symbol of what Reality „looks“ like.
There are many names for it, but they all hint to the very same „thing“.
It’s called Love! (or Jesus, The Holy Spirit in ACIM)

Love is a symbol for Unity – Oneness. In the end, ACIM tells us, all there is is only Love (=Truth, Oneness, God) or calls for Love (= everything else in the dream).
In this light it may become clearer, what is meant with Forgiveness as explained in Part 1 of this series.
It’s looking at the world with fresh eyes – looking with Love (Jesus, the Holy Spirit) – looking at Duality and only seeing Oneness.
It’s much like the Magic Eye pictures – when you stare long enough at them, you will see a 3D image in a 2D picture. 😀

What makes this very simple realization so difficult, is our resistance against waking up. We are lured into the Egos thought system with promises and a lot of fear from „the other side“. We want to keep sleeping.
The Ego will tell us, that what you just read here is not true, because it feels like death to it. It fears this realization like nothing else, because it basically means, that it doesn’t exist. The Ego will prefer to suffer endless pain to waking up. These resistances will be the main topic of the next part in the ACIM series.

Until then – much Love,

Atmos

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