Who Made the World?

by Robert Perry

The question of how the world began and who made it is one of the central issues for students of A Course in Miracles. What student hasn't wrestled with this issue? How many of us have tried on various positions on the origin of the world, trying to settle down on just the right spot? And there are various positions to choose from out there, all the way from we made it and God doesn't know about it to God created it and it's perfect and divine.

I've found myself rethinking this issue recently. For many years, my position has been that the world came from us, not from God, but that after we made it, the Holy Spirit was able to exercise some influence within it. While the broad strokes of my position haven't changed, I am now seeing the Holy Spirit's involvement as being earlier and slightly greater.

I've been rethinking this primarily because of closely examining eleven passages in the early dictation of the Course, all in the equivalent of the first two chapters. These passages definitely seem to ascribe a larger role to the Divine in the genesis of the world than what I have believed. I wrote about some of these passages several years ago (in "Urtext Passages Suggesting God Created the World"), but my conclusions were tentative and ultimately didn't seem to me to hit the nail on the head.

Some of these eleven passages have been influential for me since I got the Course. After all, all but two of them survived the final edit, and although they have been edited, their import often still shines through. For example, look at this line from the FIP Course: "The Atonement was built into the space-time belief to set a limit on the need for the belief itself" (T-2.II.5:1). If the world is nothing more than a belief in space and time, as an earlier passage tells us ("Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time. Both are merely beliefs"— T-1.VI.3:5-6), and if the Atonement was "built into" that belief, then the Atonement was built into the world. That has massive implications, and it's straight out of the FIP Course.

Now imagine ten more such passages, all of which come together to produce a larger vision of how the world was made. It is this larger vision that has gripped me recently. Let's look at that vision, and then we can figure out what to do with it.

The vision of the origin of the world in the early dictation

In many ways, these early passages about the world sound just like the later Course. They say that in the beginning there was no world. We were with God in a timeless Heaven. Then, however, we chose separation. As a result, we acquired the "space-time belief," and this belief is actually all the world is. There is no real, physical world. Given that "only eternity is real," there cannot be a real domain of time. Rather, there is only an "illusion of time." We, however, are meant to use this illusion constructively, for the sake of our learning, and when our learning is complete, the space-time belief will be at last undone. We will return to the awareness of our unity with God, and the illusory world will be gone. Time "will cease" (T-1.I.15:4) and space will disappear.

So far, this sounds like the rest of the Course. However, there is another aspect to this vision. These passages also say that "God created time," not out of the blue, but specifically as a response to the separation, so that it could ultimately be undone. They say the world was designed as "a teaching aid" (T-1.I.15:3), a "device" for healing the separation, a classroom for our learning (T-2.II.5:3):

God created time so that man could use it creatively, and convince himself of his own ability to create. Time is a teaching aid, and a means to an end. It will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning. (original version of T-1.I.15:2-4)

The active ingredient in this classroom is the Atonement, which, as we saw, was actually built into the fabric of the classroom. The Atonement, this material explains, is a defense that can only be used constructively. When we call upon it, it wipes away what stands between us and God. It frees us from our errors and restores us to our unity with God. It is because the Atonement is built into the classroom of the world that this classroom is guaranteed to work: "The world was a way of healing the separation, and the Atonement is the guarantee that the device will ultimately do so" (see T-2.III.5:12-13).

The statement "God created time" will, to the seasoned Course student, seem shocking at first. However, it isn't as problematic as it initially appears. To begin with, the Holy Spirit is not really part of Course terminology yet. (He is only mentioned six times before Chapter 5.) Further, the distinction hasn't yet been made between "create" and "make." (That happens in Chapter 3— (T-3.V.2:1). As a result, "God created time" may actually mean "the Holy Spirit made time." Given later Course terminology, this is really the only permissible option. This, too, may sound problematic, yet, as we'll see in a bit, there are references to this exact idea later in the Course.

There is one more issue to resolve here: Is the world a product of our space-time belief or is it the product of God? This early material actually tells us both things. It says the world is just our space-time belief and it says that God made it as a classroom. It even says both things at the same time. Look at this sentence: "The physical world exists only because man can use it to correct his unbelief, which placed him in it originally" (see T-1.VI.4:1). This line says that the world was caused by our own unbelief and implies that God brought the world into being in order to correct our unbelief.

Given that these two explanations—God did it, we did it—are found in the same place, they clearly must go together. But how? I think the best explanation is that we are talking about a three-step process. First, we chose to believe in separation. Second, this belief in separation mutated into the space-time belief. After all, space and time are both just variations on the idea of separation-space is separate places, time is separate moments. Third, our space-time belief finally appeared in the form of the (apparent) physical world.

So who did what? The first step in the process had to be all ours; we chose the belief in separation. However, as the process went forward, the Holy Spirit had more and more of a hand in it. In the second step, He was able to build the Atonement into our space-time belief. This is what allowed the world, in the third step, to actually manifest as a useful classroom, in which we would learn to undo separation. Without His input, the world would presumably have been just an endlessly revolving door in which the original error was continually reinforced. We would never get out.

To recap, then, we chose separation, which mutated into our space-time belief, which manifested as the illusory physical world. But that wasn't all that happened or we'd be trapped here. Therefore, the Holy Spirit entered into the process right after it began and contributed His input. By building the Atonement into the entire edifice, the world became a useful classroom in which we would undo our error, rather than a hopeless prison in which we would forever repeat our error.

What do we make of this vision?

Of course, this whole picture could be mistaken. Helen's hearing wasn't as good in this early part as it was later on, and so Jesus would often tell her that she heard something incorrectly. Could this origin-of-the-world material be something she heard incorrectly?

That is not an unreasonable idea. That the world is God's device to get us home sounds quite different than the later Course, which specifically says of the world, "God did not create it (C-4.1:2). This means much more than God did not create the world as we see it. The aforementioned passage explains that He didn't create it because everything in it changes and passes away. And we know from physics and from experience that change is fundamental to the world as it is, not just as we see it. Rather than God being responsible, the Course repeatedly tells us, "you made the world you see" ( T-21.II.11:1; W-pI.132.5:5; W-pI.152.6:1). And we did so, it says, for some very dark reasons:

The world was made as an attack on God….Thus the world was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him. (W-pII.3:2:1, 4)

As a result of such teaching, when I first saw these early passages ten years ago, I assumed that they were not "pure Course" but had been influenced by Edgar Cayce's readings. Helen and Bill were reading Cayce at the time, and being an old Cayce student myself, I immediately saw the similarities with Cayce's cosmology. In that cosmology, there was some primordial error on our part, in response to which the Creative Forces manifested the physical world as a kind of feedback device, to show us our errors so we would choose to get out of them. (That, at least, is how I understood Cayce.)

There are, however, some serious problems with the notion that this material is the result of scribal error.

First, there is just so much of it. As I said, there are at least eleven passages, one as long as 123 words. And these are sprinkled throughout quite a large volume of material. They span the first 37,000 words of dictation that Helen took down. That is the equivalent of nearly a hundred pages in the Course. Given that they recur so many times throughout such a large body of material, it is hard to see them as just a fluke.

Second, Jesus never corrected any of these passages. Indeed, most of them occur in the equivalent of Chapter 2, and by Chapter 2 Helen seems to have been virtually done with hearing him incorrectly. Almost all the corrections come in the Chapter 1 material. I can find only one instance in Chapter 2 material in which he says she didn't hear him right, and that was a minor grammatical error. If Jesus promised Helen that he "will make every effort to correct" scribal errors, and if this material on the beginning of the world was so fraught with error, why didn't Jesus ever say anything about it?

Third, and most significantly, there are specific and distinct echoes of this early vision later on in the Course. Let's look at these.

In Chapter 25 of the Text, we are told that "this world has two who made it. To each it has a different purpose, and to each it is a perfect means to serve the goal for which it is perceived" (T-25.III.3:3-4). Doesn't this "two makers" idea sound like what we just saw from the early dictation? Here are other quotes from the same section:

There is another Maker of the world, the simultaneous Corrector of the mad belief that anything could be established and maintained without some link that kept it still within the laws of God. (T-25.III.4:1)

There is another purpose in the world that error made, because it has another Maker Who can reconcile its goal with His Creator's purpose. (T-25.III.5:1)

Another section tells us that the Holy Spirit could inject "a hidden spark of beauty" into the world that "the Son of God made in insanity" (T-17.II.5:5). And when we see this spark of beauty, "The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God's perfection" (T-17.II.6:3). This, of course, sounds much like the Holy Spirit building the Atonement into the world.

There are even two passages that clearly say that "time was made" by the Holy Spirit. Speaking of our Workbook practice, Lesson 193 says, "Let mercy come to you more quickly….Time was made for this" (W-pI.193.10:2, 4). Time was made for us to do our Workbook practice? Doesn't that sound like "God created time so that man could use it creatively"?

Lesson 138, "Heaven is the decision I must make," provides an even fuller picture: "So we begin today considering the choice that time was made to help us make [the choice for Heaven]. Such is its holy purpose, now transformed from the intent you gave it; that it be a means for demonstrating hell is real" (W-pI.138.7:1-2). So, we made time, as proof that hell is real. And then the Holy Spirit remade time, giving it a new and holy purpose. In His remake, it became solely a means for us to make the choice for Heaven. Here, then, is another instance of the "two makers" teaching.

Lest we think these two "time was made" passages are flukes, two other passages refer to the same idea. One says that time's "intended purpose" (W-pI.rIV.In.7:3) is for us to do our Workbook practice. The other says that time's "appointed purpose" (M-24.4:5) is for us to work toward a complete reversal of thought. Over and over again, the later Course tells us that "time was made" for a holy purpose. These passages are direct links to the early statements that "time and matter were created" for a holy purpose.

Just to play devil's advocate, however, one might get the impression from these passages that all the Holy Spirit did was assign the world that holy purpose. He didn't actually change any of the structure or events of the world. Perhaps He just assigned a new content and left intact the form.

However, this idea is disallowed if we look at the Course's view of what generates the world's events. So let's do that.

We might assume that the specific events of our lives are caused by the projection of our own mind, as if we hooked up a movie projector to our unconscious and the result is what we see happening around us now. And this idea is there in the Course. However, it's barely there. I've looked for years and have collected only four references to it ( T-21.II.2:5-3:3; T-10.In.2:6; W-pI.152.1:5; W-pII.253.1:1-4).

The Course's main view of the events of our lives is that they are the result of God's plan. Here are a few of the many references to that idea:

What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? (W-pI.135.18:1)

Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts. (W-pI.42.2:3-6)

Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. (M-3.1:5-7)

This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God's plan. (M-9.1:2-3)

No one is sent by accident to anyone. Relationships are always purposeful….Whoever comes has been sent. (P-3.III.6:2-3, 5)

In each of these quotes, external events and situations are the result of the Divine. They are arranged by: "One Whose only purpose is your good," "the strength of God," "the plan," "salvation," and "God's plan." So here we have yet another version of the "two makers" idea. Only here the Holy Spirit is having a hand in the specific forms of the world. He is orchestrating the events of our lives. If we combine this with the four passages I mentioned above, we have to conclude that there must be room for external events to be the result of both our dreaming and His orchestration.

Given all these references to the "two makers" view of the world and its events, I don't see how we can label those eleven early passages the result of scribal error. The whole reason we would label them as such would be if they conflicted with the later Course. Yet we find very clear echoes of them in the later Course.

Of course, we could say that those later echoes are just metaphor. But there is something highly suspect about this. If we find "two makers" passages in the early part of the Course, we say it was a scribal error, because it conflicts with the later Course. But then when we do find such passages in the later Course, we dismiss them as mere metaphor. At this point, aren't we just using two magic wands to negate a teaching that is present throughout the Course? We use one wand when that teaching appears early on, and then use a very different wand when that same teaching appears later on. Does that make sense to you?

The big picture

Out of all of this comes a consistent overall picture of the world. I don't understand all the details, but the broad strokes seem clear enough. The world has two makers. Its starting point was our choice to believe in separation. We then shaped this general belief into a more specific belief in space (separate places) and time (separate moments). And then out of this space-time belief, we dreamt a vast and detailed space-time world. This is why the world is such a painful place, because it is the outward picture of the painful idea of separation. As Lesson 138 says, we made it to demonstrate that hell is real.

And if this was all there is to the world, hell would be real, for we would be stuck here permanently, and what is permanent is real. Therefore, God, through the Holy Spirit, got involved in the world's formation from the moment we chose separation. The Holy Spirit was able to build the Atonement into our space-time belief. Or as the later Course teaches, He was able to make the real world part of our overall dream. He was, in a sense, able to remake the world we made. As a result, it became a device for facilitating our learning, so that we could ultimately return home. This meant that He assigned it a new purpose and that He was able to influence the forms and events of this world, so that they would actually serve that purpose.

I imagine these two makers as analogous to a screenwriter and a director. We are the screenwriter of this movie. But once we finish the screenplay, the final product is mainly in the hands of the director, who in this case is the Holy Spirit. And this Director is One Who takes liberties with the scripts given Him. Our script was a horror movie with a grisly ending. Yet when the Director shot it, even though He started out fairly faithful to the screenplay's story (due to contractual obligations to the writer), He wove subtle elements of redemption into each character and each scene. Thus, if you pay careful attention, you will hear a character briefly question the hopeless track he's on, or you'll catch a glimpse of an angel's wing through a dirty window. Under the Director's guidance, these hidden elements came increasingly to the fore. He even got the writer to okay the changes. Finally, the emergence of these elements allowed for an entirely different ending, turning this into a story of total redemption.

Who was the maker of this movie? Well, it's hard to say. Without the screenwriter there would have been no movie at all. But without the Director the final form would have been quite different. We know who made the horror. And we know Who made the redemption. And yet each scene in the movie (except the last one) was a combination of the two. Perhaps the best we can say is that "this world has two who made it" (T-25.III.3:3).

This simple idea seems to honor everything the Course says about the origin of the world. The early Course emphasizes the Divine Maker, while the later Course emphasizes the human. Yet each place gives us a picture of both makers.

This view is only a small variation on what I have already believed. Yet it definitely feels different. Under this new view, I feel like I'm living inside a gigantic device that the Holy Spirit was involved in the design and operation of from the very beginning. His presence therefore pervades it. His lessons are under every rock and behind every door. Thus, despite all the horror present in this device, His influence means that, in the final analysis, it is not a house of horrors, but rather a classroom of mercy. And this classroom is so perfectly suited to its function that it is guaranteed to work. It is guaranteed to get us all home.

I think what had happened to me was that my view of Course theory was causing me to overemphasize the horrors. To a degree, this world was feeling godforsaken. Maybe you know what I mean. This new view, without denying the horrors, puts a brighter cast on things. It affirms that we are not just spinning our wheels here, that, by design, the river of the world is always flowing toward awakening. As a result, the following words from the Workbook read almost like me describing the change I have undergone in my view of the world:

I see everything upside down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. I see the world as a prison for God's Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free. I would look upon the world as it is, and see it as a place where the Son of God finds his freedom. (W-pI.57.3:3-6)

15 Comments

  1. Jeff
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Robert,
    As always, your thoughts are clear and your logic is solid. I have always known in my heart that we are more than prisoners in this world, that the world cannot be totally valueless as long as the Son is "in" it, and that each of us has a holy mission. I still think there is much more to be fleshed out. We have trouble wrapping our head around such concepts as time and other dimensions. We may never be able to understand the how of it all. Even though someone who is able to explain it more concretely obviously chose not to do so, I don't think it is necessarily because we would get side-tracked, but because, there was not an existing framework to establish the concepts, like there was for modern psychology at the time it was scribed, and He knew there was greater value in not having the Course be any more controversial than it would already be. And, such "knowledge" may not be essential to get through 365 Lessons successfully and begin living a life of forgiveness, love, peace and joy. The essentials are there in the Course, (and in your analysis), for each person to unlearn much of their false beliefs and begin to fill the gaps sufficiently for their own metaphysical paradigm, however, I wish you were able to add more as to the "how," so that we could provide meaningful answers to those who give up on the Course or to prevent fellow Course leaders from teaching concepts that are less than true. Sometimes, I do better when I don't see Holy Spirit as a separate entity, but as one who is, like God, an intimate and inseparable part of our very Self. Therefore, when we speak of joint creation (and very early), of course it would be so, because God so willed our connection, more an extension, rather than a (separate) creation. I am seeing that the Course is sometimes more metaphorical than I had previously thought.
    I am sure that unlearning is very important, and that we can't easily do that without something to replace it. So, I greatly value your attempts to give us more clarity on this subject. My idea of the illusory world is that it is the opposite of what it appears to be, it is effect, not cause. It is seeing as if we were apart from what we made and apart from each other and apart from God, even though, just as we could not exist in Spirit without God, the world could not exist without our ongoing making. I continually try to envision that wherever there are at least two, that their joint thought creates form, and that every one of us is permanently entangled in an extremely complex and divine way. Even the "Laws" we follow, every single law of physics, chemistry and biology is established early on with the assistance of Holy Spirit, Who had Knowledge of the end goal firmly in place. And, He needed only establish patterns that would fill in the gaps, because our misguided Miracle impulses and our predictable egos assured most of our path. Not quite Intelligent Design, but an ACIM version of "inevitable" evolutionary path. And, of course, He is there on an ongoing basis, at the level of thought and therefore continues to guide an inevitable path to a known end. Not quite the same as pre-destination, as we can continue to choose to go in circles for a long time. Just because its certainty is not in doubt does not mean that there are not choices. There are many potential paths to a known end.
    Jeff

  2. Anonymous
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear Robert,

    Thank you for this! I like your thoughts and comments, especially the movie idea, it's great to think that this world is not just a horror story. I'm going to read this again and again.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    "I think what had happened to me was that my view of Course theory was causing me to overemphasize the horrors. To a degree, this world was feeling godforsaken." How right you are. This alone should help ACIM students realize that the "truth" comes from God (go within) and not from Robert Perry. Return next year to see what the latest "divine interpretation" is….

  4. Rick
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Re the comment below: for ACIM students the words of the Course are the way into the transformative process, and continuing to deepen our understanding of them is critical – have our understandings of not grown with time? Asking within is an integral instruction for sure, but we were given these 1300+ pages to speak to our intellect, as a means to move through understanding to knowledge. Few are those who have reached that point.
    Thanks, Robert for further mining this material on such a challenging topic. I found it very helpful.
    Rick

  5. Prem Prakash
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    This is an excellent piece of writing, Robert, perhaps the best I have found on the nature of how the world was created. I hope this thread is still active and someone can help my understanding.

    I have been a Course student since 1988, and one particular area has troubled me for years. As I proceed with my forgiveness, the world, especially Nature, takes on an increasingly beautiful, harmonious, even a divine quality. I would have thought that forgiveness would reveal the ego dynamics behind the projection of the world in separation, that I would better understand and perceive the terror and foolishness inherent in the original tiny, mad idea. Instead, the world becomes lighter, easier, and seems to increasingly reflect the beauty of God, as I can understand and appreciate. Are others having this experience? Thanks.

    • Robert Perry
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Prem, I’m not in your head, so I don’t know exactly what you are experiencing. But I think the way it’s supposed to work is that we have no illusions that the world of humanity and the world of nature are both a battleground. Everyone and everything is looking out for “me and mine.”

      But that’s not where our focus is. Our focus is instead on the presence of divinity beneath the surface and being expressed on the surface. So yes, everything eats everything, we get that; but there’s more to the story. Christ is here, and is present behind all the facades. And the Holy Spirit is here, and is at work in the smallest details. That’s what’s important, and so that’s where our focus is and where our experience is.

      I hope that’s helpful. I know you asked for the experience that others are having, but that’s all I have to offer. I’m not a nature guy—nature looks like just a lot of stuff to me. But somehow I think that’s not what the Course is aiming at!

  6. Christine Crescenzi
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Prem
    I have been experiencing the Divine in nature, even the air is my divine brother now. For a long while now, I have been experiencing humans as Divine. All of this inclusive happiness helps make the Course text and lessons more meaningfully consistent for me because there are no distinctions made between these brothers now, all are helpfully teaching me about Divine sameness, Divine Oneness..

    Unfortunately or fortunately, I understand the terror aspect as well. I think the earlier part of my journey consisted of understanding the fear I had of God, the terror of that realization, and the shame about it took a lot of listening to Jesus that I was still included despite the fears that swamped my mind. It took a long while to trust Him because I thought He judged me as unmercifully as I did for having these feelings of anger toward him and everyone. I didn’t realize that the whole Sonship feels these feelings, however deeply they have hidden them, and are suffering from them as I did. They need help just as I did and perhaps this is the reason this underside came into my awarness so early on…???

    Having seen myself, my error repeated in my brothers, and the kindness and compassion that Jesus tried to communicate to me about myself as well as my brothers, has made a lovely circle of forgiveness towards us both. He treated me with such patience even when I saw him as an enemy, such a lovely teacher to walk with me through this mine field of suddenly unblocked territory.

    Having passed through much of it, though I am sure there is more to come, I feel the need to treat my brothers lovingly as he treated me. My brothers are recognized everywhere now, fulfilling the promise of the Course, that it means what it says. Though I can feel the temptation to withdraw my trust in the Christ nature of my brothers for awhile, the attraction of that wonderful state of love is too compelling to push away for long. How can I not give what he gave me and still accept the gift of his generosity?

    Such a lovely companion to help me feel safe while experiencing these fantastically loving unions, these great rays that are there for us, to help us realize we are not alone despite how scary these mine fields look like sometimes.

    I am so happy for you Prem that you are blessed with seeing the Divine. If the other does come into your awarness, it is not true, no matter what it tells you…okay my friend….
    luv
    chris

  7. Prem Prakash
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Robert & Christine. I very much appreciate both of your responses and find them helpful. That you responded so quickly and with such sincerity to help means as much what you actually wrote.

    Robert, you mention that, to you, Nature is a “bunch of stuff.” As you have practiced the Course over the years, do you find your perception of the “natural world” increasingly as stuff, or does it become more alive? Or any change at all? I ask because I kind of float back and forth. Like one of the Magic Eye images, sometimes I see Nature — plants, animals, the wind, etc — as being mult-dimensional, alive and radiant; othertimes like a bland, flat illustration. I wonder if I should try and nurture one aspect of these perceptions? It seems like the Course’s emphasis on relationships is of the human kind. Is there a way to better use the teachings when dealing with relationships with seemingly non-sentient “brothers,” like the wind, for instance?

    Chris, of all that you shared, my favorite part was the seeming sincerity with which you called me your friend.

  8. Robert Perry
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Prem, I wish I could say that nature is seeming more alive over time, but I have to confess that it still seems like stuff!

    That being said, the Course does have passages that treat “non-sentient” objects and processes as sentient “living things.” You may want to read Lesson 156, which treats wind that way. We can read those passages as metaphor, but I don’t think that fits the passages themselves. There is a place in the Text that makes it clear that a grain of sand is literally a part of the Sonship, in spite of the fact that its form makes it appear to be anything but.

    And Helen wrote a poem that reflects this general point of view. She didn’t consider her poems to be dictated by Jesus, but she also didn’t consciously compose them. She felt they were channeled from a higher place in herself. Wherever they came from, they do express Course teaching very nicely. This poem is called “The Little Things of God”:

    Gardens are filled with the little things of God
    That sing and twitter in a tiny voice,
    And flash from blade to blade across the grass.
    They shine with morning and they glow at night,
    And through the daylight wind and hum and turn,
    Wheeling among the flowers as they live
    Their little lives, and then they disappear.
    Yet when they enter in eternity,
    They will be part of God along with me.

  9. Prem Prakash
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Hello Robert,

    Thanks again for your quick response. The portion from Lesson 156 expresses well what I’ve been clumsily trying to put into words. I agree with you, the language does not sound metaphoric. I don’t think it’s actively literal, either. My impression is that the wind, waves and trees are not deliberately and consciously sinking, bowing and extending. Rather, this describes the Son’s experience in the Real World. I’ll let you know for sure when I get there!

    Thanks, also, for “The Little Things of God.” It’s been a long time since I’ve read Helen’s poetry. I might be due for a revist.

    I’ve been pondering your phrase of nature being a “bunch of stuff.” It’s a great line and has triggered a number of thoughts. I have invented in my mind an artifical distinction between what is man-made and what is “natural.” If a bird builds a nest or a beaver builds a lodge, I look at it as nature. But when a person builds a home, I label it as “man-made,” as “not nature.” Perhaps those birds and beavers discuss the “bunch of stuff” the upright mammals construct and call their homes, offices, and cars.

  10. Christine Crescenzi
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Hey Prem
    that last paragraph is so funny…..

    luv
    chris

  11. Christine Crescenzi
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Prem,
    Hi everyone…

    You know when someone leans in to kiss you or is just about ready to do so, you feel it right. Well I don’t think this willingness to love is person specific, it’s just a kiss waiting to happen all the time. When the door opens in your mind, that everything loves you, it really does. So you feel it communicating with you, and really while it’s happening you cannot say those animals, plants, air aren’t totally extending themselves to you as any human might. It is that convincing!

    So it’s like the question which came first the chicken or the egg. I’d say it is simultaneously occurring, the window is always open but it takes awhile to realize the window is readily there, and always open. And when this communicating does not seem to happen, all you have is the collaborative memory of something fantastic entering your awareness that you cannot forget. When they happen often enough, it needs very little mental prompting to experience them again, though they seem to be far too creative expressions to limit themselves to past expressions.

    I don’t think the purpose is limited either to just feeling the presence just for my benefit. I look forward to the experience becoming part of an active service whose results are easy for me to recognize as coming from the love of the Father for the benefit of his sons. To be consistent with the Course, I cannot imagine they arrive just so I can feel happy but for the purpose of bringing happiness to all. I suppose maturity is an aspect of this progression….

    Luv
    chris

  12. Sara Follett
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    You have finally connected two of my favorite and most puzzling quotes in the course, as part of the “two makers of the world” idea. You state His presence (the HS) pervades the world. This makes sense out of these two quotes: ” The smallest leaf become a thing of wonder.” and “Your passage through time and space are not at random.”. To this I would add two additional quotes, to complete the picture for me: “The HS has assumed a dual function. He knows because He is part of God. He perceives because He was sent to save humanity. M-89. Also: “To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the HS still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. T-550. These powerful quotes make sense to me in light of what you have written. Rather than figure them out, I just sit with the quotes and soak them in. The small and senseless maze is my everyday life. Sara Follett

  13. Diann Bertucci
    Posted July 19, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    What an interesting discussion. Like everyone else, I have been fascinated, puzzled and terrified by the “God did not create the world” idea stated many times in the course. It has taken me many years to get brave enough to look squarely at the idea that this world is a manifestation of our own misguided hubristic attempts to one-up God. Having read many accounts of mystics and their seeing God in all of nature (including people), I wondered how this could be if nature was made by us in error. The way I resolved this was in grasping the idea of “reflection” stated often in the course, that once we are able to see with our right mind, we will see “the glorious reflection of God’s love, which shines in everything.” (WB 169) That shining light is the reflection of God’s love, not something endemic to materiality itself. The real real light that shines through is a dimmer version of the real light that was created by God when he created the sonship, before the separation. A piece of heaven remains in all of us, in everything, despite our misguided attempts that made the world. We just need eyes that see looking through the right mind.

  14. Benjamin Joseph
    Posted October 15, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Hey robert,
    You rock buddy! you rock and roll!!!
    I really appreciate you writing this, and im so gratefull for the time and energy you put into these articles.
    peace

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