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Dealing with Illusions
Q: Since finding ACIM I have been thinking about the ego and illusions for some time now. Naturally this has brought up some questions on how to deal with them. From the view I have now it looks as though there are some illusions that I should avoid such as ones involving anger and ones I should promote such as acts of kindness. This brings up the idea of levels of illusion as far as intent to avoid or promote. In this state it seems we all have certain group illusions where the illusion seems identical to all of us. Some illusions we avoid or at least try to but some illusions we promote.
The body is an illusion but don't we promote this illusion by giving the body food to 'sustain' it? Also there are 'natural laws'. If a large truck is going down the road at 70 mph and you place your body in it's path it is highly likely that the illusion will occur that the body dies. Death of the body may be the best choice here because if not there will probably be a lot of pain involved. From experience I can say that extreme pain will flush out everything else from my body level mind except the pain and how to get it to quit. Nothing else matters at that 'time.' We know that here is only one illusion with no levels but we all react to them as though there are levels. I don't know of anyone that does not give food to their body for instance, although I have heard of instances of this. At this time I don't think there is any way out of this unless we have help to do so. That is the Holy Spirit's part as far as I can tell.
So now I need to work on giving up these illusions. If I give up some illusions such as the need to make money I will be doing something to other people's illusions such as the people that depend on me for their food, housing, etc. If I take away their source aren't I being selfish? The idea of illusions and levels go together but where does a person decide, if he does at all, where to stop. Even this thought implies levels so aren't we reinforcing illusions even when we are in the act of doing something seemingly good? Even if we give up illusions aren't we also reinforcing them? By giving them up we are recognizing them as real, otherwise we could not give them up. One day years ago the thought came into my mind that I went to judgment where I was told that there was nothing real in the 'world' and that I was just going through a test to see how I would react to it. I don't know if I passed the test but probably not. Anyway, all this makes me wonder how to go about my illusory trip and how to react to something that didn't really happen.
A: Hello Beloved One
Thanks for taking the time to describe what is going through your mind. The belief in many levels is the ego's basis, for the ego was a fragmenting belief which seemed to splinter itself into many degrees, levels, parts, and intervals.
ACIM simplifies the approach to Atonement (Correction) and the remembering of Oneness by using the metaphor of two levels: Right-mindedness, which is the Perspective of the Holy Spirit, and wrong-mindedness, which is the perspective of the ego.
Right-mindedness recognizes that only mind is causative and sees that the cosmos is an unreal effect of an unreal cause (belief in the ego). Right-mindedness recognizes that cause and effect are together and that ideas leave not their source. It sees that the world is a world of concepts that have not left the mind of the "thinker." Right-mindedness sees the tapestry as one illusion.
Wrong-mindedness, to the contrary, perceives cause and effect as apart
and perceives "causes" and "effects" in form and
apart from mind. Raising body thoughts to the level of mind (causation)
is an example of level confusion which ACIM offers.
Becoming free from level confusion is the outcome of following the Holy Spirit toward acceptance of the Atonement. Once the realization comes to awareness that only mind is causative this makes way for the Correction (Atonement) Which shows that the error of separation never happened. This is the realization that only Love is real and the ego has no existence. The miracle shows that there is no hierarchy of illusions, for illusions are one. The miracle shows that there are no levels in perception.
In the Holy Spirit's Perspective there are not separate illusions – the Perspective simply sees the false as false. Therefore from this Perspective there is nothing to "avoid" and nothing to "promote." Also from this Perspective it is apparent that mind is one and the concepts of "individual minds" and "group illusions" have no existence. Mind is singular and cannot be broken into pieces or parts or groups, and thus the concept of a "collective" has no basis in Reality.
Jesus seemed to put food into his body, yet this seeming action took nothing away from the teachings about Eternal Reality: "Before Abraham was, I am" "I and the Father are One" "I am Calling you out of the world" "I am as God created Me" "I am Spirit." Many of Jesus' teachings were done at the table during dinner time, yet the backdrop of eating was just that - a backdrop. The Content of the teachings remained: "The Kingdom of Heaven is within." ACIM Workbook Lessons 50 and 76 dispel the notion of "natural laws" of the world/body and teach the Spiritual Reality: "I am under no laws but God's." Love is the only "Law" that operates in Creation because God is Its Source and that Which proceeds from God is All Reality.
Illusion means unreal, and that which is unreal cannot be "born" or "die." The body therefore cannot die or be born or have life, for what is nothing simply is nothing.
There is no mind in matter. There is no life, or truth, or substance, or intelligence in matter.
From the Holy Spirit's Perspective, Which is the only one that matters, there is no dead matter or living matter, no good matter or bad matter, no beautiful matter or ugly matter. What is unreal cannot BE divided into categories or parts. Right-mindedness recognizes this is so.
The way "out" of wrong-mindedness is indeed the Helper, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Doing the ACIM Workbook Lessons under the Holy Spirit's Guidance is a way of discerning between right-mindedness and wrong-mindedness (the only two meaningful levels during the "process" of Awakening) and thus approaching the final decision, Atonement, Which leads past the concept of error entirely.
It is important to remember that the "giving up" of illusion has no cost or sacrifice. Correction is actually "the illusion of giving up," or the illusion of "gaining" everything and "losing" nothing. Is this not an acceptance worthy of our holy mind?
In the seeming release of error or illusion there is actually nothing that is taken away. There is only the acceptance of what is and has always been true. A "person" cannot accept the Correction, but the mind can and must. It is the realization that the Holy Child of God is Mind, wholly Mind, Purely Mind, Perfect and Eternal in the Mind of God. Divine Mind is Whole and Complete and can play no "part." It simply Is. Your sincere questioning began with the concept of levels and came to: "...all this makes me wonder how to go about my illusory trip and how to react to something that didn't really happen."
Let the Holy Spirit Guide you in the moment to think and perceive from the Perspective of right-mindedness. As false belief is brought to the Light within it disappears, and in this dissolving you will experience that there is no causation whatsoever in matter.
Be "Selfish" in the constructive sense by accepting the Magnitude and Power and Glory of Thy Christ Self, and understand that there is no "cost" to this recognition. It is indeed humble to accept OneSelf as God created OneSelf and arrogant to believe that a make- believe self-cosmos could ever take the place of the Eternal Christ.
As error is released there is no necessity to react to illusion at all. For Love is real and Love simply extends and looks upon Love. All reactions, including the perception of pain, were false emotions that have no basis in Reality. And in Atonement it is evident that nothing the ego seemed to believe or think or make or feel had any reality or meaning. There is no reaction at all to something that never happened, and Love remains forever true.
I Love You forever and ever!!!
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