We CANNOT make the physical.
The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. It cannot change what is its waking state. It cannot make a body, nor abide within a body. What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source. For mind creates all things that are, and cannot give them attributes it lacks, nor change its own eternal, mindful state. It cannot make the physical. What seems to die is but the sign of mind asleep. (W-167.6:1-7)
So, if the mind cannot make the physical, what is all of this seeming form? Why does it seem so real?
It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your “seeing” was made. This is the function you have given your body’s eyes. It is not seeing. It is image making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions. (W-15.1:1-7)
The Course tells us that the thoughts we think we are thinking are nothing. They are not our real thoughts. Our real thoughts are the thoughts we think with God. So how do we deceive ourselves into believing that the thoughts in the ego thought system and the images they spawn are real?
This is salvation’s keynote: What I see reflects a process in my mind, which starts with my idea of what I want. From there, the mind makes up an image of the thing the mind desires, judges valuable, and therefore seeks to find. These images are then projected outward, looked upon, esteemed as real and guarded as one’s own. (W-325.1:1-3)
We, as mind, wanted to be special, autonomous. We made up images of our desire. We projected them outward. Then we “saw” them and deemed them real, believed in them, and set-up a defense system to protect them as our own.
God’s Son needs no defense against his dreams. His idols do not threaten him at all. His one mistake is that he thinks them real. (T-30.IV.5:12-14)
And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. (M-11.3:3)
Ironically, it is the seeming “reality” of these images that the ego points to to affirm the “reality” of its thoughts. They are after all “creating.”
So how do we make our way out of this house of mirrors? We desire a better way.
Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute. But the outcome is as certain as God. (T-2.III.3:6-10)
Then we withdrawal our valuing and belief from the images we, as mind, have made and place them in reality instead. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to induce or persuade us, through reasoning, to give up our miscreations. These miscreations, including fear and separation, must be dispelled or caused to vanish, by looking at them directly without protecting them. We must learn that they are not real.
Psychotherapy is the only form of therapy there is. Since only the mind can be sick, only the mind can be healed. Only the mind is in need of healing. This does not appear to be the case, for the manifestations of this world seem real indeed. Psychotherapy is necessary so that an individual can begin to question their reality. Sometimes he is able to start to open his mind without formal help, but even then it is always some change in his perception of interpersonal relationships that enables him to do so. Sometimes he needs a more structured, extended relationship with an “official” therapist. Either way, the task is the same; the patient must be helped to change his mind about the “reality” of illusions. (P-in.1:1-8)
Changing our mind about the “reality” of illusions? Is that what we are doing? Yep. And only the Holy Spirit knows what that looks like for each of us. We know it involves our changing the purpose that we have assigned to everything we have made.
To me, the purpose of everything is to prove that my illusions about myself are real. It is for this purpose that I attempt to use everyone and everything. It is for this that I believe the world is for. Therefore I do not recognize its real purpose. The purpose I have given the world has led to a frightening picture of it. Let me open my mind to the world’s real purpose by withdrawing the one I have given it, and learning the truth about it. (W-55.5:2-7)
Learning that illusions are not real is a challenging process because we are literally addicted to the ego thought system of fear. We, as mind, are using it to alleviate the panic and terror that accompanies our unconscious guilt. The problem is that it seems to work. Most of us are not experiencing the agony of daily crucifixion. We are more like the participants in Plato’s cave, more like the walking dead.
If we are willing to look at our beliefs, our valuing and stand in the fear, when necessary, we, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, can get home to God. But we are dealing with a suspicious, vicious, tenacious and deceitful ego and our addiction to it. (that we are in denial about) There is such a twisted maze of beliefs, from emotions to physical sensations, that have us believing with the ego that this world is real. No wonder we cannot move into a more “supernatural” formless existence. Our minds are bound by belief in the reality of the physical. But the Holy Spirit can lead us to freedom.
We also have the challenge of surrendering to the Holy Spirit and letting Him run the show admitting that we know nothing. We must give up all thought of self-reliance, embracing God-reliance. Another big task is that we have to give up valuing and believing in our personality self, believing it is us and be solely in the service of the Holy Spirit.
You, the Son of God, need do nothing.
You were created only to create, neither to see nor do. (T-14.I.4:4)
In the meantime, for those of us that still “experience” time,
There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand. When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood. Now we have work to do, for those in time can speak of things beyond, and listen to words which explain what is to come is past already. Yet what meaning can the words convey to those who count the hours still, and rise and work and go to sleep by them?
Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part. The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done. It does not matter. For your part is still what all the rest depends on. As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God. (W-169.10:1–11:5)