Who is the Maker of the world?

Question: T-25.III.4:1 says that there is "another Maker of the world." Does this mean that we and the Holy Spirit made the physical world together?

Short answer: In my opinion, that is not what this statement means. Instead, I believe this statement means two things: 1) The Holy Spirit ensured that Heaven's law of extension was reflected in this world, in the form of the law of perception; He did this so we would have a way out of the world of perception. 2) The Holy Spirit made the real world, a corrected perception of the world we made, in which our purpose for making the world was replaced with the purpose of forgiveness; seeing the real world is the way out of the world of perception.


Whenever we want to know what a particular line in the Course means, our best bet is always to look at the immediate context in which the line occurs. I will do that in this Q & A, drawing from other parts of the Course for additional support as needed. All of the paragraph and sentence references in this Q & A are from T-25.III (the section in which this line occurs), unless otherwise noted. Now, let's look at the two senses in which the Holy Spirit is "another Maker of the world":

1) The Holy Spirit ensured that Heaven's law of extension was reflected in this world, in the form of the law of perception; He did this so we would have a way out of the world of perception.

Let's set the stage for the statement in question. In the first paragraph of our section, we are told that a fundamental law of God is "that love creates itself, and nothing but itself" (1:6). This is the law of extension (or creation) in Heaven, in which the Kingdom of Heaven is continually increased through the activity of minds extending themselves in love. Through this law, the Kingdom of Heaven is nothing but a continual outpouring of love. There is literally nothing else.

We, however, believe that there is something else: a world of perception (the physical world). This world was not created by God (2:1), but instead was made by us, the Sonship; as the Course tells us plainly, "You made perception" (T-7.VII.3:11). Why did we do so? The implication of 4:1 is that we did so because we wanted to completely sever ourselves from God and His laws, and set up our own world governed by our own laws. Listening to the ego, we craved specialness, and because God's laws of love precluded specialness, we aimed to establish a world apart from God, in which the laws of specialness would reign supreme (3:5).

It would seem at first glance that this attempt to sever ourselves from God and His laws was successful, for indeed, Heaven's law of extension does not operate in this world (2:1). The Kingdom that God created is a realm of knowledge, and therefore God's laws, which govern the realm of knowledge, are alien to the world of perception. However, the truth is that try as we might, we cannot completely sever ourselves from God's laws. We cannot do so because we are part of Him, and it is not His Will to be apart from us (2:4). Therefore, even though the Kingdom's laws of knowledge are beyond perception, God provided a means by which those laws could be reflected in this illusory perceptual world (2:2).

The means that He provided was the Holy Spirit, "the Bridge between perception and knowledge" (T-6.II.7:2). We believe that we have succeeded in making a perceptual world totally apart from the laws of God, but the Holy Spirit has other ideas. And that is what the line we are discussing in this Q & A is getting at:

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. (4:1)

According to this line, the Holy Spirit is "another Maker of the world" in the sense that He is the "Corrector" of our erroneous belief that we could really separate from God, the belief that led to our making of the world of perception in the first place. This line, then, is expressing an idea that is also expressed elsewhere in the Course (see, for instance, T-26.V.3:5): The instant we made the error of separating from God and descending into a world of perception, the Holy Spirit immediately corrected our error. He did so by reinterpreting the world of perception, transforming it from the ego's means of separating from God into a means of returning to Him (see T-5.III.11:1).

The goal of the Holy Spirit's reinterpretation was to ensure that there remained a link between the world of perception and the laws of God; as 4:1 goes on to say, God's laws needed to be "adapted to the need the Son of God believes he has." One of God's laws is the Heavenly law of extension mentioned earlier in our section, and so one thing the Holy Spirit did to accomplish His goal was to make sure that this law was reflected in the world of perception.

How is the law of extension now reflected in the world of perception? As the first two paragraphs of our section make clear (see 1:6 in particular), it is reflected in the form of the law of perception: "You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there" (1:3). And how is the law of extension reflected in this law of perception? Just as in extension the mind extends itself outward, in perception the mind projects its beliefs and desires outward. Obeying the law of extension in Heaven, the mind sees itself everywhere; obeying the law of perception in this world, the mind sees what it wants to see everywhere.

Why is it so vital that the law of extension be reflected in this adapted form in the world we made? Because if it weren't, we would be cut off from God forever. Remember, our insane wish was to make a world that was completely divorced from the laws of God, including God's law of extension. Since the law of extension is a law that says that everything is a product of the mind (our minds or God's Mind), a world divorced from that law would be a world that is completely independent of the mind. If we had really made such a world—an external reality completely independent of our minds—we would have rendered our minds totally powerless to undo the world we made. We would have been stuck for good in the prison house that we built for ourselves.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit translated the law of extension into a perceptual form, so that the Son of God "could not be lost forever in the madness of his wish" (2:5). The adapted law of perception ensures that the world we made can never be separate from our own minds. Since this world is governed by the law of perception, it is not independent of our minds, but simply a projection of what we want to see. This leaves the door of our seeming prison house open, for if the world is simply a projection of what we want to see, we have the power to choose something else. We have a way out of the world we made.

Of course, this ability to choose something else is useless unless there is something else to choose. There must be a more desirable option within the world of perception than the ego's mad desire for separation and specialness. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit not only ensured that we would retain the power of choice, but also gave us a positive option to choose within the world of perception—an option that will ultimately lead us out of the world of perception entirely. That option is what the Course calls the real world, and this leads me to my next point.

2) The Holy Spirit made the real world, a corrected perception of the world we made, in which our purpose for making the world was replaced with the purpose of forgiveness; seeing the real world is the way out of the world of perception.

What is the real world? The Course has much to say on this topic, but for simplicity's sake, I will focus on two characteristics of the real world that are relevant to our question. First, the real world is not the physical world. Perhaps the clearest statement of this in the Course is T-13.VII.1, which tells us that the real world does not have buildings, streets, stores, or even cycles of night and day. The real world can be seen only by real vision, and "real vision… does not depend on the body's eyes at all" (W-pI.30.5:1).

If the real world is not physical, then what is it? It is a state of mind, in which the Holy Spirit offers us a transformed perception of the world we made. This leads me to the second characteristic of the real world that I want to focus on. This characteristic is nicely summed up in the following line from Chapter 30 of the Text: "The real world is the state of mind in which the only purpose of the [physical] world is seen to be forgiveness" (T-30.V.1:1).

This description of the real world strongly suggests to me that our section's discussion of "another Maker of the world," in addition to referring to the Holy Spirit's adaptation of the law of extension, is also referring to His making of the real world. For as our section continues (paragraph 5 in particular), it depicts the world's other Maker as One who sees the world's only purpose as forgiveness. This vision is the exact same thing that T-30.V.1:1 defines as the "real world." The other Maker, then, is One who sees the real world, and the clear implication of this, at least in my mind, is that the real world is the world this other Maker made.

The vision of the real world He made is what this Maker, the Holy Spirit, wants to give us in exchange for our perception of the world. This is the positive option He wants us to choose within the world of perception. In our perception of the world, rooted in the ego, the world continues to serve our original purpose for making it: separation from God and pursuit of specialness—in a word, sin. But "in His perception of the world, nothing is seen but justifies forgiveness and the sight of perfect sinlessness" (5:2).

Thus, the other Maker here is primarily the Maker of a new perception of the physical world, not another Maker of the physical world itself. Now, it must be said that the Course does sometimes hint at the idea that the Holy Spirit actually contributed to the making of the physical world. For instance, the Text tells us early on that "the Atonement was built into the space-time belief" (T-2.II.5:1), which suggests that the Holy Spirit's correction of our error (the Atonement) may have included at least some remaking of the physical world (the space-time belief). It is certainly possible that the Text section we are discussing here is hinting at the same thing, but I don't think that is its main emphasis. Instead, our section is talking about perceiving the physical world in a different way.

This is especially apparent in paragraph 6, which tells us that once we accept the Holy Spirit's help in perceiving the world, we will see situations in the physical world—in particular, our brothers' "sins"—in a completely different light (6:3-8). Things that formerly made us angry will call forth love instead. Things that formerly goaded us into declaring war will call forth peace. Things that formerly incited us to attack will call forth forgiveness. And things that formerly tempted us to engage in any of these ego-based thoughts and actions will call forth joy. Nothing is said in these lines about the situations changing externally in any way. Instead, what transforms our perception of them is the Holy Spirit's vision of the real world beyond the physical forms that we see. It is this world that Jesus is imploring us to see with our minds, even as our physical eyes are seeing "evidence" of our brothers' "sins": "Let all your brother's errors be to you nothing except a chance for you to see the workings of the Helper given you to see the world He made instead of yours" (7:2).

Seeing only the purpose of forgiveness in the world: A visualization

This Q & A has been very theoretical, but as always, the Course's theory is quite practical if we take the time to apply it to our own lives. Let's do that now with the material we just discussed (T-25.III.6-7). The following visualization is a modified version of a visualization created by Robert Perry:

Think of a recent situation in which you were angry, and felt that your anger was quite justified. See the details of the situation in your mind's eye. Now say to the person with whom you were angry, "What I saw as a justification for my anger was really a justification for my love."

Notice how you felt a call to war, a call to engage in some form of attack or retaliation or defense. Now say to this person, "What I heard as your call to war was really a call to peace."

Visualize the place in which you attacked the other person. See the scene in your mind's eye. Now picture, on that exact spot, an altar arising, right in front of the person you attacked. This is his altar, an altar to the truth in him. See yourself placing lilies of forgiveness on this altar. Notice how giving forgiveness was far easier and happier than giving attack. Notice how joyous you feel. Now say to yourself, "This temptation was really just another chance to bring me joy."

Finally, say, "[Name's] error was just a misperception, not a sin. It was nothing but a chance for me to see the workings of the Helper given me; an opportunity to exchange my perception of the world for His; an opportunity to see only the purpose of forgiveness in the world."

Conclusion

How can we see the world the Holy Spirit made? By doing exactly what we did in the above exercise: Using the power of choice, a power that He ensured we could never lose, to invite Him into our minds and allow Him to replace our purpose for the world we made with His purpose of forgiveness. Jesus is calling us to recognize that "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" (5:1).

Once we recognize that 1) the law of perception gives us the power of choice, and 2) we have two diametrically opposed options to choose between, the question then becomes: What do we want to see? Do we want to see the purpose of the maker, or of the Maker? Do we want to see sin, or forgiveness? Do we want to see the false world we made, or the real world the Holy Spirit made? All of these questions are the same, and the choice is up to us.

The good news for all of us who are weary of the world we see is that "the Maker of the world of gentleness has perfect power to offset the world of violence and hate that seems to stand between you and His gentleness" (8:1). When we feel imprisoned by the world we made, we can trust in His power to give us the vision of the real world that will set us free. And once this vision is fully ours, escape from the world of perception and restoration to the realm of knowledge is only a step away. "Corrected error is the error's end" (4:2). God takes His final step, and we are back in the Kingdom of Heaven, safe and joyous in a realm where love is forever extended and increased through the eternal law of creation; where "love creates itself, and nothing but itself" (1:6).

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