What are the Facts in a World of Illusions?

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"Defenses make facts recognizable."

Unrecognizable

There is a lot of talk of “fake news” these days.  In fact, in our household, it’s a joke that whenever one of us wants to dispute what the other says, we call “fake news!” All of which had me ponder what the hell “facts” really are.  After all, a lot of what we think of as “facts” are really just accepted mass beliefs.  Once upon a time, the world was flat, the sun revolved around the moon and no one could run a mile in under four minutes.

And if you are bored one day, Google “things you believe that aren’t really true.”  Turns out ostriches don’t really bury their heads in the sand, and dogs can see color.

Or at least that’s that the “facts”” say.  It’s all illusion so, who knows.

In my new favorite A Course in Miracles lesson (155 – “I will step back and let Him lead the way.”), Jesus declares, “The world is an illusion. Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions, and avoid their own reality. Yet when they find their own reality is even here, then they step back and let it lead the way. What other choice is really theirs to make? To let illusions walk ahead of truth is madness. But to let illusion sink behind the truth and let the truth stand forth as what it is, is merely sanity.

So, if the world is an illusion, then what exactly are the “facts”?

Lesson 48 says, “There is nothing to fear.”The idea for today simply states a fact. It is not a fact to those who believe in illusions, but illusions are not facts. In truth there is nothing to fear. It is very easy to recognize this. But it is very difficult to recognize it for those who want illusions to be true.”

We see the world not as it is but as we are.  Perception is an ego function.  The mere fact of using an illusion (ego) to decipher reality means, of course, it is filtered.  I mean, that’s part of why we study the Course, to learn to see past the filters; to wake up to “Reality.”  Are we so attached to wanting to be right, to wanting to make illusions real that we continue to insist that, “Yes, there are things to fear.”

Hmmm.

In the preface, it says,

What It Says

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.

This is how A Course in Miracles begins. It makes a fundamental distinction between the real and the unreal; between knowledge and perception. Knowledge is truth, under one law, the law of love or God. Truth is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous. It can be unrecognized, but it cannot be changed. It applies to everything that God created, and only what He created is real. It is beyond learning because it is beyond time and process. It has no opposite; no beginning and no end. It merely is.

The world of perception, on the other hand, is the world of time, of change, of beginnings and endings. It is based on interpretation, not on facts. It is the world of birth and death, founded on the belief in scarcity, loss, separation and death. It is learned rather than given, selective in its perceptual emphases, unstable in its functioning, and inaccurate in its interpretations.

From knowledge and perception respectively, two distinct thought systems arise which are opposite in every respect. In the realm of knowledge no thoughts exist apart from God, because God and His Creation share one Will. The world of perception, however, is made by the belief in opposites and separate wills, in perpetual conflict with each other and with God. What perception sees and hears appears to be real because it permits into awareness only what conforms to the wishes of the perceiver. This leads to a world of illusions, a world which needs constant defense precisely because it is not real.

When you have been caught in the world of perception you are caught in a dream. You cannot escape without help, because everything your senses show merely witnesses to the reality of the dream.”

“Defenses must make facts unrecognizable. “ We tend to defend what we value.

So what are the facts???

“Facts are unchanged. Yet facts can be denied and thus unknown, though they were known before they were denied.”

Facts are constant.  A lot of what we think of as facts aren’t facts at all.  They are our interpretation of events, in many instances meant to assign the goal of guilt or innocence, in accordance to one’s perceptional bias, or selective perception.  We tend to give credence to that which we are in agreement with and to dismiss that which we disagree with.  We all have our beliefs and tailor our perceptions to match/support them.  (Nowhere is this more apparent than in our current political environment.  Trump lovers believe him and Trump haters believe the media.)

Knowledge makes no attack upon perception.

Knowledge

“4 Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. Regardless, too, of the intensity of the anger that is aroused. It may be merely slight irritation, perhaps too mild to be even clearly recognized. Or it may also take the form of intense rage, accompanied by thoughts of violence, fantasized or apparently acted out. It does not matter. All of these reactions are the same. They obscure the truth, and this can never be a matter of degree. Either truth is apparent, or it is not. It cannot be partially recognized. Who is unaware of truth must look upon illusions.”

The Course says we are choosing between two worlds – the world of truth (aka the “Real World”) and the world of illusion. “Knowledge makes no attack upon perception.”  To attack illusion is to attempt to make that illusion real.  Attack is an ego function.  God doesn’t trifle Himself with illusions.

 “That there is choice is an illusion.” (The game is rigged.)

As I study this, I remember that the whole “issue” is thinking that I know what anything is for.  I don’t.  The whole “problem” is thinking that I am in any position to judge.  I’m not.  The Manual for Teachers says, 2 It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. And this judgment is neither “good” nor “bad.” It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: “God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist.”

So as I listen to proclamations of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” I recognize that the only truth is innocence, and that is hard to swallow.  The answer is salvation.  The answer is the Atonement.   Accept the Atonement and the world is saved.

“1 Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. It is the one complete concept possible in this world, because it is the source of a wholly unified perception. Partial Atonement is a meaningless idea, just as special areas of hell in Heaven are inconceivable. Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. To forgive is to heal. The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. What is there, then, he cannot heal? What miracle can be withheld from him?”

All I have to do is accept the Word of God.  Why is that so hard?  Why is being right about fear more important than allowing peace to come at last?

10 Salvation, perfect and complete, asks but a little wish that what is true be true; a little willingness to overlook what is not there; a little sigh that speaks for Heaven as a preference to this world that death and desolation seem to rule. In joyous answer will creation rise within you, to replace the world you see with Heaven, wholly perfect and complete. What is forgiveness but a willingness that truth be true? What can remain unhealed and broken from a unity which holds all things within itself? There is no sin. And every miracle is possible the instant that the Son of God perceives his wishes and the Will of God are one.”

For if we are all indeed one, if the Course is correct in its teaching, then God’s Son is guiltless.  The Manual for Teachers says,“3 There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, “God’s Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation.” It can be taught by actions or thoughts; in words or soundlessly; in any language or in no language; in any place or time or manner. It does not matter who the teacher was before he heard the Call. He has become a savior by his answering. He has seen someone else as himself. He has therefore found his own salvation and the salvation of the world. In his rebirth is the world reborn.”

God’s Son is guiltless.  If I want the salvation of the world, I must come to a place where I can accept that.  I must give up looking at what I think is happening and see innocence.  In this world, there is perceptional bias, because we filter according to our beliefs.

All I can do is know that if I do indeed want to be a Teacher for God, I must be willing to proclaim, “I could see peace instead of this” and allow God to tell me what my next step is.

Fear is my responsibility.  Am I willing to give it up so the world can be saved?  Am I willing to give up judgment?  The Manual for Teachers says:

5 Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is gone, for he has none. He has given it away, along with judgment. He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own. Now he makes no mistakes. His Guide is sure. And where he came to judge, he comes to bless. Where now he laughs, he used to come to weep.”

Laughing sounds better than weeping.  There is no order of difficulty in miracles.  Ask and it is given.

2 You do not ask too much of life, but far too little.”  I am willing for God’s Son to be guiltless if that’s what it takes to save the world.

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.

 

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