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The 'Hero' of the Dream

All readings from the text in this document are taken from the
‘Hero of the Dream’ section of A Course in Miracles.

Part 1 | Part 2

Participant 2: Can we look at it like a movie? Like this is a really good movie. Or everything that goes before us is a movie. Would that help?

Speaker: You just have to see that the movie…

Participant 2: You are making it up.

Speaker: Well, it’s already made up and is the film is in the projector. The Holy Spirit interprets.

Participant 2: Let’s get back to that a minute, the movie and the projector.

Speaker: There is an interpretation in your mind, of the script. The script is done, but now there are two possible interpretations of it. This is what I have been saying. Try not to interpret the forms. There will still seem to be bodies doing things to other bodies in a relative sense and not being helpful. Only because the mind does not know what is going on and so there is seems to be all kinds of crazy things going on. But the healed mind does not interpret those. Its sees only love or a call for love, it’s that simple.

But if I am not seeing a call for love, and I know when I am not by how I feel. If I am not in love then that means that I am in competition with God. Because his will for me is to be in love all the time. I am putting meaning where there is none. It doesn’t matter what is happening. That is the simplicity of salvation, it’s just a thought in your mind. You see? And that is the cause.

Your mind is causative and it is pouring into a mad idea, a distorted belief. And in order to keep that belief ‘real’ it splits cause off now. And instead of it being cause, now outside of it is cause. But if forgets it and disassociates from it, and remembers it not. The dreaming of the world… ‘I didn’t dream that. I didn’t make that up even.’ It is horrifying. It looks out then and, whoa.

A lot of people that I worked with, they talked about the war in Iraq. I would ask them, “How do you feel now?” and they would say, “I'm upset." And I would tell them that they are at war and they would be shocked. It’s right now. We can’t heal if we divide these things, if we give cause away. We have to see it in a whole way. That is a perspective of A Course in Miracles, a right-minded perspective. It is whole, innocent and all inclusive. It is simple and not complex. You see that choosing the right-mind is choosing to see cause in its right place. And then there is an experience that will come within you.

You still might see all the headlines on the newspapers but your mind will interpret it as unreal in the sense that it has nothing to do with God or I, as Christ. This dream is a dream of images and has nothing to do with me. And if I think it does, then I am confused in who I am. I have an identity problem, an authority problem. It’s that simple. This Course is very simple.

Participant 4: Once you get it!

Speaker: It’s just that when we start, we are talking to a mind that is addicted to complexity so it seems to be exasperating.

So looking at this chart [referring to the projector chart]… the mind, once it believed it split – the first split introduced was consciousness – and then the mind became a perceiver rather than a creator. So, it’s a perceiver now. And you could say that the projector was representative of the mind as a perceiver, the activating agent. It perceives a screen, which is one image. But the mind has given over its creative ability to perception and in order to hide from that the mind must identify with a body to make this body a subject and another an object.

The mind is still back here [pointing to projector] and cause is back here but it makes these images, which are an effect. It forgets cause and now it seems to be in a body around other bodies and now those images are cause instead of cause being here [pointing to projector]. So, what Jesus is saying is that you need to pay attention to how you feel because your mind's energy… this is all your minds energy [pointing to the light rays]. This is the light of God that is being poured into a mad idea.

Participant 3: And you could say that this mad idea is this film.

Speaker: And what Jesus says is that in order for you to transcend this mad idea, you need to have a happy dream. The mad idea is horrifying dream. It is terrifying. You need to have a happy one. What is saying is that in order to get back to your right-mind, you need to see cause in it’s rightful place and that means choosing forgiveness… choosing to see cause in its rightful place. That is forgiveness. Choosing to reverse effect and cause. Seeing cause and effect as simultaneous.

I believed in separation… that was a simultaneous thought. But it seemed to be sprung out in time now. And there seems to be a little time between you and I, a little space between you and , a little gap. That time might be the time I take to forgive, you… just a little time. You see, the little gap is always going on in the mind. And what Jesus is saying is that we can choose a new interpretation of this dream, of this mad idea. It has been given to us, it’s the Holy Spirit. He will enter our mind and now he will look upon all the images and see it as one. But we can’t do that if we don’t see cause in it’s rightful place. If I think that these images are causative, these bodies are causative… or people, places and events. A lot gets projected on governments, IRS or whatever. The authority problem which is desire to be cause. You see the metaphysics. I desire to be author to myself. True Cause is author of Effect. Now I desire to be the author of myself and make up an identity. I am a person on the screen, there is another person, and there are differences between us. More and more authorships, but there are no differences in oneness and knowledge. It’s all one.

Participant 3: And they may seem to be a cause to me and I may seem to be a cause to them.

Speaker: And all of this is perceptual and all perception is effect, effect of an unreal idea.

Participant 2: It’s so big and yet it can be changed in a second.

Speaker: So choice will be our closest approximation of Creation, or Cause. You see how they all start to come together? Choice is our closest approximation to Cause. We become Creative, or remember Creation by choosing to see cause as in the mind and not on the screen. When we choose to change our mind about the dream… “Seek not to change the world, seek only to change your mind about the world”… seek not for truth, seek only to remove the blocks that stand in the way of truth… this is what Jesus is getting at. He is saying that you don’t have to seek for truth out in these images…. On the screen there is an ashram, there is a teacher, and this and that and a book… it is all an effect of an unreal cause. You are looking for holiness where there is no holiness. Holiness is abstraction and beyond perception, you see. We are seeking for truth in all these things. That doesn’t mean that you don’t go to the ashram or that you don’t read the book, but it is the purpose that you give it. You don’t make it causative. The cause is in your mind and you learn to see all the images as one. And what denies that oneness is the belief that there is a hierarchy of values or illusions. That means that I can separate and order these images however I wish. So, let’s take a look at an order of thought of the ego… the idea of betryal, the idea of murder… all these ideas. Those are orders of thought in my mind. I have ordered it, I think I know what it is. I have taken knowledge, broke it up and now I think I know what knowing is. I project it out, I try to make perception into knowledge. I think that is what it is now, that is is real. I throw it out there, make it causative and then forget it, forget that I made it up. And then I hold up this face that is acted on… “Oh, the murder out there it is awful and horrible. George Bush and Iraq, when is this going to change?” And then we do things like this, “I am going to make a change. I am going to go out there and change the world.” But what am I doing? I am being the “hero” of the dream, an autonomous figure in the dream. I am separate apart from what is whole. Now I am causative. I can make a change in an unreal effect! I can make a change in something where change is impossible, when it’s all thought, it is just an agreed upon assumption.

That is what the separation is, an agreed upon mad idea. We are playing in a big sandbox and we forget we are playing. Think of being a kid when you are off playing and then you ended it. Your mother calls, I remember it, “Dinner!”. And there was a few minutes where I would go, ‘Let me play a little bit longer’ and I came home late and there was a consequence for that, but it was over. We stop playing in that sense. But in this dream, we make it up and we continue to keep the suits on and we really start to believe it and believe we are doctors and we think it means something. It’s a big lie. We are making the images cause and it is an effect in the belief in separation.

Valuing any of those images in and of themselves is taking wholeness and making it a disunited piece or making it a whole in and of itself. But whole is whole, it’s total. You can’t have a whole image in and of itself… like a whole bottle of water. Its all perception so it’s whole. It’s not a whole bottle of water, it’s all one image. It is thoughts in the mind that seems to make them different and the meaning that I have assigned them. That denies innocence. So if I want anything from these images then I am denying who I am through the ordering of the images. I am giving cause away.

Let’s take a look at the chart [referring to the projector chart]. The film, the script, linear time being projected out. Perception is effect of an unreal idea. Extension or project… now remember, like I said, that this is still the law of extension. You are still extending your mind. Your mind never stops extending ever. It is just a mis-use of extension and so we use the word projection. Instead of extending, we project to the body, the split. The body becomes something and the outside world becomes something. So it is no longer extension because extension extends upon itself totally. God does not extend to you personally…’Wait now there is a Son of God over here that I love a bit more…we will be going out on venus for a holiday…’

Participant 3: And this goes back to day one when we all looked in the mirror and we saw all of our faces as one image but we seemed to be set back from that. You could say that this is the same thing where the mind is always back here [pointing to the projector image ] but it seems like you are identified with one of these images [pointing to the body figures on the screen] and that is where the subject / object split is, that is where spurious cause and effect is and that is the split. That is the split that we are correcting.

Speaker: And the split is healed in an interpretation in the mind. So the body will still report differences but you no longer believe what you see. It is very simple.

Participant 2: So to go back to the murderer, the guy that was the murderer… if I can look at him and know that he and I are one, we are all one, that nothing happened then I am in peace.

Speaker: Yes and to see that, that is where your mind training comes in. So you pay attention to how you feel. See, you are choosing to see all of this from back here [pointing to image of the projector] you are not seeing it from the person. Persons do not choose. People do not make decisions, bodies don’t make decisions. The body is not a decision maker. The mind makes a decision either to see right or wrong mindedly. You are either in one or the other, there is no in between and you know what you are in by how you feel. So you pay attention to how you feel and bring it back, you take the consequence which is an effect – the consequence of the belief in separation, the consequence to the cause – you bring it back and see that it is an idea in your mind. It is good to see the specifics because you start seeing what you believe. You think you know what murder is, all these things. If you can let the Holy Spirit re-order them, that is how you allow him in your mind.

But if you go, ‘Oh, I can’t believe I thought that!’… that’s another thing that seekers do. It’s another denial. Be happy that you can see it! Because you are looking at a part of your mind that has been hidden, so there is no wrong. Be grateful that your mind is actually being loosened! That is the perfection of God, he wants that for you. So he will loosen all theses things and you will have all kinds of stuff coming up that seems to be out here [on the screen] but the training comes when you bring everything back to here [the projector] but you have got to start here [with the screen of images] because that is where you believe you are.

Participant 2: I’ve got it I think, finally. Yes.

Speaker: So the line in the Course where Jesus says that the one right use of judgment is how do you feel, know that when you feel anything unlike love that you have chosen wrongly. So, you can just say ‘Oh, okay, I am choosing to see the script out here wrongly. I need to change my mind about it.’ And that is done through desire, not through the intellectual. The intellect does not go to God. Desire goes to God. The intellect is of the ego. Don’t do it through the intellect.

Participant 1: I tried it and it doesn’t work.

Speaker: No, it doesn’t work. You won’t get there. But the intellect has to burn out. Use it for purpose and it will burn out.

That is why if we perceive ourself as being out here [body on the screen] and we are analyzing the motives of other bodies we are feeling heavy. You are analyzing…. The analyzer and the analyzed are one because it is all on the screen. If you think you are an analyzer and there is an analyzed… that means there is a body and there is something to analyze. So they are one because it is all your mind. You just forgot that it is all your mind. You think you are separate and now you are analyzing something, but you are analyzing your own mad idea. But you are doing it through a subject / object split.

Participant 3: But it’s the mad idea that is analyzing the mad idea.

Speaker: Right.

Participant 3: And that’s not even you.

Speaker: And that is not even you but the power of your mind is in it which seems to give you an experience, an association that is false – an association that is false. They [mind and form] never went together but the mind believes that they went together and that it really happened. Timelessness went into eternity, that truth went into illusions the Course says. But it never happened, just a magic show. And in order to end that, we need to see our interpretation of it. That is it, its so simple. And then symbolically, on the screen, things may seem to change. You still don’t judge it. You may seem to have more happy faces around you. You may seem to have dedicated people around you. That is just a reflection of your mind, it still doesn’t mean anything. If it’s there or not, you are still happy. It is just a reflection. Things become symbols.

Who knows, a world war could happen and they could take the body off, there could be a war measures and they could take the body and ship it off. But there are no fears or concerns about it, you see. There are no concerns about how the script unfolds because I would still be happy and they would be reflections of my mind.

Participant 2: [laughing] It’s amazing isn’t it.

Speaker: So, this here is the “hero” [pointing to image of body on the screen]. The “hero” is the autonomous figure in the dream. I did one talk one time and the group was asking me what birthday I had what lesson does that correlate to in the Course? And I said, “I would never even assume anymore that I am born” and there were some reactions there because they had studied their lesson. They find their birthdate and then think that that is their lesson. That is what the “hero” wants. The mind hears the call and then of course the ego wants to make the “hero” a “hero”. There has to be a hero. So, now there is a hero with a special lesson that was given it, on a day that has special meaning just for it. But what happens? It’s still a person. It is still a subject in an objective world. You don’t get to see that you are the dreamer of the dream and how could that be possible? If this is all your mind then how could you just be in here [figure on the screen] just flicking in and out. If life is all the light, how could you be that shadow figure here? How could that be? Dream figures come and go but it is all your mind.

Participant3: Because the light is still there.

Speaker: Right, the light doesn’t go away. That is the perfection of light. So, see all these bodies here on the screen [chart ]. Now let’s look back… cause. So, it’s all mind. The bodies fall away. The mind is animating the images, seemingly. But it is all one mind. There are not separate little people. And that is why, whoever seems to awaken always says the same thing, ‘Its all one. Its perfect. There are no individuals.’ They speak it because they are in touch with this, with the one mind, with the truth instead of being identified with this [figure on the screen].

Participant 5: My sense is that when there is an identification as an image and all that goes with it, this mind says that it is impossible to have any understanding whatsoever of what is outside of that, what is beyond that. And when the truth wakes up or when the light shines then that is clearly seeing and so I, I don’t know.

Speaker: [chuckling] That’s good! And that is what I am bring everyone to, that ‘I don’t know’. But the point I think you are getting at… and what I have said over and over is… that’s what we have to all agree upon in the truest sense. And we agree upon it within ourselves, that we cannot know anything about this dream. And waking up… we were just talking about this coming here… is still sleeping. An awakened dream is really sleep.

Participant 3: We were saying that even to perceive a world is still the authority problem. You can forgive the images but it is still within the dream.

Speaker: It is all sleep, but within the dream you seem to wake up and become lucid of the dream. But that is all part of sleep. And that is what I have been getting at here, that this is not knowledge. It is not true knowing. That is the point that I have been making over and over and over. And what we are coming to is an experience of realizing that we don’t know, and in that realization, we start to remember who we are. And that knowing is a reflection, a reflection….or the Course calls it an approximation…of knowledge. But that is all it is, an approximation. But it is still, in the ultimate sense, not a true knowing. Because perception and knowledge do not go together. The aim of the Course is right-mindedness, not one-mindedness. It is an approximation of one-mindedness. So that is pretty humbling.

Participant 1: What is an approximation to knowledge, the closest approximation to knowledge?

Speaker: The forgiven dream. The right mind.

Participant 1: Oh, right-mind. Okay.

Speaker: Right-mindedness. Is not to be confused with the knowing mind, Jesus says. It is not knowing. You know nothing. The dream was made up to deny knowing. So, don’t think that you can accumulate knowledge in the dream. It has nothing to do with it. It is an image that denies knowledge. So the Course, all that is not knowledge. People have said, ‘Oh, you know that book inside and out, you are so wise.’ No! You know what makes me wise? I have forgiven! That is it. A forgiven mind is a wise mind. A wise mind sees that it knows nothing, that it cant really know anything in the dream. You see. So it is an approximation. A forgiven mind is an approximation of knowledge but its…. It’s preparing your mind so that God can take the final step. This is all preparation. This is a beginning. The Course is not an end. This is baby-steps. We are babies here, we are babies.

Participant 6: And in the sense that the Course says, this Course is either wholly accepted and believed or not at all. So, we are still on the way to… what shall I say… becoming true students of the Course. I don’t feel like I am there yet.

Speaker: Well, that would be an honest thing to say. And if you did arrive, I would question that too.

Participant 3: Because who arrives?

Speaker: Yes [chuckling]. It feels like arriving and learning until all the disillusionments… I kept having one disillusionment after another. It was all being undone, this idea of a linear person, of going somewhere and doing something, arriving…

Participant 6: And that still clings…

Speaker: That’s it. That’s all a natural part of it. You will see that more and more and more. You are just learning to look at the seeker in your mind. You will do it, welcome it. But watch it! Become sensitive! Look at it directly, look at every part of your life where you are doing it. Learn to look entirely. And that is where the Course comes in. You learn the whole thought system and that gives you a really speedy sort of application process. You can start speeding up in your looking because then you are not spending all your time going through all these lessons like wondering why you feel attacked all the time. The metaphysics are there to help you get really clear on that and to allow it all to wash up.

[pause, then continues reading]

“Let us return the dream he gave away unto the dreamer, who perceives the dream as separate from himself and done to him.”

So, let us return that. You see? Stop projecting out here [on the screen]. Images on images. We project images on images… but return. Return to the level of correction, or bring consequence to cause. It is all the same idea.

“Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity. It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity, which means there is no time. A timelessness in which is time made real; a part of God that can attack itself; a separate brother as an enemy; a mind within a body all are forms of circularity whose ending starts at its beginning, ending at its cause. The world you see depicts exactly what you thought you did.”

You see that? The world depicts exactly what you thought you did. If you feel murder in your awareness, if you feel attacked… if you feel these things… the world you see depicts exactly what you thought you did. You believe that you are separate from God and now you see it outside. That you have murdered the relationship with God. Cut off! It goes over and over, all of that plays back to the same idea. Your relationship to the world is your relationship to God, or rather, what you believe that relationship to be.

“Except that now you think that what you did is being done to you.”

You think that you are being attacked, that its being done to you.

“The guilt for what you thought is being placed outside yourself, and on a guilty world that dreams your dreams and thinks your thoughts instead of you.”

That is what Jesus is saying, that you think it is telling you how to feel and how to think… all your reactions to the outside world. But Jesus is saying that guilt is in this tiny mad idea here and you are projecting it out on the screen but you are placing it in other bodies. Now you are forgetting that you did this back here [at the projector]. So the guilt that you thought is the tiny mad idea here [referring to the chart] is being placed outside of your assumed self [body on the screen]… "and on a guilty world that dreams your dreams and thinks your thoughts instead of you…” It tells you what to feel. It is controlling you, it seems to be causative. Situations arise that you don’t like. Things that you don’t want show up.

“It brings its vengeance, not your own. It keeps you narrowly confined within a body, which it punishes because of all the sinful things the body does within its dream. You have no power to make the body stop its evil deeds because you did not make it, and cannot control its actions nor its purpose nor its fate.”

And he is talking within the context of your split mind, when you believe you are the body.

Participant 6: It seems to make it real. When I get a cold I don’t feel like I caused that. I don’t feel like I can change my mind about that. I don’t feel like I can change that effect with shifting the mind!

Speaker: “The world but demonstrates an ancient truth; you will believe that others do to you exactly what you think you did to them. But once deluded into blaming them you will not see the cause of what they do, because you want the guilt to rest on them. How childish is the petulant device to keep your innocence by pushing guilt outside yourself, but never letting go!”

Jesus is saying that it is childish.

“It is not easy to perceive the jest when all around you do your eyes behold its heavy consequences, but without their trifling cause. Without the cause do its effects seem serious and sad indeed. Yet they but follow. And it is their cause that follows nothing and is but a jest. In gentle laughter does the Holy Spirit perceive the cause, and looks not to effects. How else could He correct your error, who have overlooked the cause entirely?”

So remember, the Holy Spirit is the dreamer of the dream in your mind. He is the right mind. So when we align with the dreamer of the dream, the Holy Spirit, he does not look to effects because he knows that it is an interpretation of the effects. So why would I analyze or try to figure something out there? As long as it is out there [on the screen] it seems real. But when I bring it back here [to the projector] what happens? The power of my mind is restored. I am no longer powerless. I am powerful. I can change my mind about the world and the split is gone.

“He bids you bring each terrible effect to Him that you may look together on its foolish cause and laugh with Him a while.”

So he asks you to take it back here [to the projector] so you can laugh at it. But we can’t do that if we think that there is something specific in and of itself out there. Like we have been getting at here, thinking or believe that there is a reason for things that seem to happen. ‘Why did that happen? Why is the roof leaking? What is the Holy Spirit trying to tell me?’ Well, the roof is leaking! Fix it! And don’t be cheap!

[group laughter]

You know what I mean? ‘Why is someone screaming in my face?’ Change your mind about it. It is that simple. It is not “why” is someone screaming at me… “why” questions about the dream are not real questions. They assume that there is an error that is real outside, when the error is really the interpretation of the screen. It is the interpretation. The error is that thought. So the difference between someone screaming and someone smiling. It is all a call for love. The Holy Spirit looks on this and sees love but if I am identified with a body I look out and see a separate world with many different things going on… good and bad, right and wrong, all those things. So, asking questions about the dream are not real questions. Asking for help to heal your mind about the dream is a “real” question. That is a real choice, it opens you up to real choice.

“You judge effects, but He has judged their cause. And by His judgment are effects removed. Perhaps you come in tears. But hear Him say, "My brother, holy Son of God, behold your idle dream, in which this could occur". And you will leave the holy instant with your laughter and your brother's joined with His.”

This was always one of my favorite quotes and I would love to go around doing talk and I would quote it. I would say, “I have a secret. It’s the secret to salvation.” And everyone would be skeptical. Because you tell and it and then they say, “Oh right, it is all me.”

[group laugher]

So, this is the secret, Jesus says. “That you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you could not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.”

So it’s being very clear there. Let them be as hateful as they seem to be. Just let it be. It is our judgment of them that needs to be corrected.

“This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes. The Holy Spirit will repeat this one inclusive lesson of deliverance until it has been learned, regardless of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form.”

He is saying that they will show up as specific forms, but you allow him to show you where they all come from.

“For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, "I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo".”

That’s the miracle. The miracle sees that I have given away the dreaming of the world to an objective outside world. And it is I that would undo this thing. I will release the objective world. I will release the subjective world; my body and seemingly other bodies. And I will see that this is where my true identity lies. And then the light will pour through you. The light will tell you of itself. The light will tell you. Your purpose is to remove this and as you remove, the light is revealed. As you loosen your grip on the image, the light is shining through.

“Bring, then, all forms of suffering to Him Who knows that every one is like the rest. He sees no differences where none exists, and He will teach you how each one is caused. None has a different cause from all the rest, and all of them are easily undone by but a single lesson truly learned.”

A single lesson truly learned! They are all undone.

“Salvation is a secret you have kept but from yourself. The universe proclaims it so. Yet to its witnesses you pay no heed at all. For they attest the thing you do not want to know. They seem to keep it secret from you. Yet you need but learn you chose but not to listen, not to see.”

He is making a very directly point here again. He is saying that it is your choice. It is all here [pointing to the projector]. It is all in there, and that is where the radical honest comes in, radical honesty.

“How differently will you perceive the world when this is recognized!”

You will still perceive the world. There will still seem to be other people that don’t recognize it but that doesn’t make it so. You have released it.

“When you forgive the world your guilt, you will be free of it. Its innocence does not demand your guilt, nor does your guiltlessness rest on its sins. This is the obvious; a secret kept from no one but yourself. And it is this that has maintained you separate from the world, and kept your brother separate from you. Now need you but to learn that both of you are innocent or guilty. The one thing that is impossible is that you be unlike each other; that they both be true. This is the only secret yet to learn. And it will be no secret you are healed.”

Powerful indeed.

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