Are We in Heaven?

Are We in Heaven?

What if you think you are in heaven when you are in the illusion? What if you think you are awake when you are asleep? What if you think you are not here when you perceive yourself as being here and making it real? What if you think you do not need A Course in Miracles to awaken when you do?

This would be similar to the guy who thinks he has arrived at Jim’s house, but is really at Ralph’s place. No matter how much he presses forward with this idea he does not arrive at Jim’s. The only solution is to back up, reexamine the directions, and then head to the right location.

As Course students the goal is to return to our eternal home, and the Course gives us many aspects of this world that must be dropped before that can happen such as:

[1] We will no longer see with the physical eyes, but the spiritual.

[2] We will no longer use memory and see the past for we will have total awareness instead.

[3] We will no longer experience pain or sickness

[4] We will no longer perceive anything in the world.

[5] We will no longer experience opposition or conflict.

Yet the Course makes this statement which leads many to think they have transcended those points and arrived in heaven:

“Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.” M-24.5

This quote is controversial because many students see and feel the pain in the world as well as the fear and pain in their lives and do not see themselves in heaven at all. They will ask, how can I be in heaven if I am experiencing hell? Isn’t what we are actually experiencing telling us whether we are in heaven or hell? Wouldn’t the people in Ukraine laugh at me if I told them they were in heaven?

This passage gives a partial explanation:

“Your Self is still in peace, even though your mind is in conflict.” T-3.VII.5

Our mind is in conflict because it is split for “The separation is merely another term for a split mind.” T-5.III.9

Here it talks about the split into a higher and lower mind:

“I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home.” T-4.IV.11 “you have split your mind into what knows and does not know the truth.”  W-pI.139.5

When this split occurs “the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while.” W-pI.167.9

And that is where we are now. Our lower mind is asleep and dreaming dreams that we have made real to us while our true “Self is still in peace, even though your mind is in conflict.” T-3.VII.5

What makes it difficult for us is that in this dream state we are identifying with the lower mind rather than the higher, which is our true eternal self.

The great quest then as directed by 365 lessons in A Course in Miracles is to wake up so we can realize who we really are and cease to witness any pain and suffering induced by the dream.

The problem is that many repeat the quote that “Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.” M-24.5 and they say they are awake and there is nothing to do. No ACIM is needed for they are in heaven now and the dream never happened. 

Do they have a point? On the surface that is what it seems to say.

Several though pointed out the need to look at the context of the quote, so let us do that. Here is what precedes the quote in question:

“The emphasis of this course always remains the same; — it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it. This is still your one responsibility. Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future.”

The total of the half million words of the Course leads us to a point where we can accept “complete salvation.” This involves a “total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future.”

When we then escape from the past and the future where are we?

We are then in the present. And what does the Course say about the present?

“The present is the only time there is.” W-pI.164.1 “The only aspect of time that is eternal is now.” T-5.III.6 “The present now remains the only time. Here in the present is the world set free.” W-pI.132.3

Taking this into consideration let us reexamine the quote in question:

“Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.”

Notice that it doesn’t say that you have awakened from the dream and your complete awareness is in heaven. It merely stresses that “heaven is now.”

And what is now?

It is present time with no past or future as we know it.

In other words, it is telling us that if we want to experience heaven we must let go of the past and embrace the “present now.”

The Course affirms the words of the Bible when it says: “Be still and know that I am God.”

In that stillness is present time and heaven itself, but we must make the decision to go there, otherwise “You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams, but the sleep is not real and God calls you to awake.” T-6.IV.6

If you are reading this then the awakening into the now has not fully happened because you are using your memory of the past so you can read English.

But we can get a glimpse of heaven through the Holy Instant:

“The holy instant is a miniature of eternity. It is a picture of timelessness, set in a frame of time.”T-17.IV.11

“In the holy instant it is understood that the past is gone…The stillness and the peace of now enfold you in perfect gentleness.” T-16.VII.7

The problem is that even atter we get a glimpse of the eternal now through the holy instant we can backslide:

“For a time you may attempt to bring illusions into the holy instant, to hinder your full awareness of the complete difference, in all respects, between your experience of truth and illusion.” T-16.VII.6

The first couple Holy Instant experiences will not bring a full awakening for we tend “to bring illusions” into it, but the experience does give us the promise of a full awakening.

Let us move forward to that event.

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