ACIM Conversations, Part 22
Is Anyone Awake?
Student: I keep coming across fellow students who tell me that they have awakened from the dream, yet see no evidence they are any more awake than I am. How should I respond to such people?
Teacher: First, you need to decide whether or not a response would be helpful.
Student: And how do I do that?
Teacher: What does the Course tell you to do as far as decision making goes?
Student: I suppose you are telling me I need to check with the Holy Spirit.
Teacher: Exactly. And do you suppose the Holy Spirit will give you the same answer for each individual.
Student: I would think there would be different answers as some may be open to discussion and others not so much.
Teacher: Yes. Some interpret any questioning of their belief system as an attack, and any attempt to correct errors in them are fruitless. On the other hand, there are some who are open to discussions that reveal greater light and the Holy Spirit will give you a favorable nudge for them.
Student: I think there may be a third category, like the authorities who tried to entrap Jesus. He responded and put them in their place. Some people just seem to be asking for it.
Teacher: And even here you need to listen to the inner voice. Sometimes it will prompt you to respond and other times not.
The first thing you need to be aware of as a student is all that would transpire if you were to be fully awake. Who is it that we can look to as the greatest example of enlightenment?
Student: I’m sure that would be Jesus.
Teacher: And are you aware that even he is not fully in heaven?
Student: No I was not. Do you have a reference on that?
Teacher: Read this:
Student: “Because my feet are on the ground and my hands are in Heaven, I can bring down the glories of Heaven to my brothers on earth.” UR T 1 B 40ab
Teacher: Now, why is it that he can still assist us?
Student: Apparently his consciousness extends to both heaven and earth for his feet are on the earth and hands in heaven. Interesting.
Teacher: The Course tells us why he must yet stay linked to us here on earth. Read this:
Student: “Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out, and now will lead you out with him.” W-pI.rV.in.6
Teacher: Why must a savior remain with us?
Student: So he can lead us out with him.
Teacher: This harmonizes with a promise he made to his disciples. He said: “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matt 28:20
Now read these two quotes that reveal why he is committed to stay and work with us.
Student: “The reawakening of every Son of God is necessary to enable the Sonship to know its Wholeness.” T-6.I.12 “Souls cannot rest until everyone has found salvation.” UR T 1 B 24a. 24
It looks like even Jesus or others who are awake will not be able to rest until all are awake.
Teacher: And this thought is reinforced in this next quote:
Student: If all His creations are His Sons, every one must be an integral part of the whole Sonship. The Sonship in its Oneness transcends the sum of its parts. However, this is obscured as long as any of its parts is missing. That is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until ALL THE PARTS OF THE SONSHIP HAVE RETURNED. Only then can the meaning of wholeness in the true sense be understood.” T-2.VII.6
Teacher: Here we see that we are all integral parts of the Sonship and we must all return before we can completely comprehend the meaning of its wholeness.
Student: That is quite a statement. It appears then that no one can claim to be fully awake for the whole Sonship must return before complete wholeness is realized.
Teacher: But we can make great strides toward the Eternal World. The first major step is to attain the real world. Do you have a grasp of what that is?
Student: I understand it is some type of bridge between heaven and earth.
Teacher: Yes. The Course describes it as “a borderland of thought that stands between this world and Heaven.” T-26.III.2
It says “The real world is the second part of the hallucination time and death are real, and have existence that can be perceived.” T-26.V.12 “The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else.” T-11.VII.2
Student: It appears then that anyone who claims to be awake has first learned to see the real world.
Teacher: And how many do you suppose there are who perceive it?
Student: I encountered a number who claim they are in heaven but haven’t heard any of them talk about seeing the real world which must come first.
Teacher: Read this – it gives interesting evidence that one is beginning to see the real world:
Student: “You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.” W-pI.15.2
Teacher: So what happens when you obtain real vision?
Student: You see edges of light around familiar objects.
Teacher: Take a look at that chair over there. Do you see light around its edges?
Student: No. I guess I do not have real vision yet.
Teacher: Now take another look. Tune out the chair and focus for about a minute. on the empty space at its edges
Student: (A minute passes) I think I did see some light but it’s gone now. Maybe it was my imagination.
Teacher: It will seem that way at first but keep practicing and you can see the light from the real world everywhere. It says: “The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you.” T-11.III.4
Student: Wow. That’s cool. I haven’t heard anyone talk about this before.
Teacher: And there is much more to see beyond that light at the edges, which anyone who claims to be at least half awake should be able to register. And this is just part of a first step in the awakening process.
Student: What else should I look for in one who claims to be awake?
Teacher: First let me say that there are degrees of wakefulness, for even Jesus will not be fully awake in heaven until you and I join with him. The first major hurdle is the realization that we are asleep in a world of illusion and need to wake up. The next step is to see the real world so we can at least perceive truth from error while we are in the dream. From then on it is a step-by-step process until we arrive at the wakefulness demonstrated by Jesus when he was here. Do you recall the story of John the Baptist when he was in prison and was not sure if Jesus was the Christ?
Student: Yes. He sent some friends to Jesus to ask him if he was the one who was to come.
Teacher: Perhaps if John had been A Course in Miracles student he might have asked if Jesus was the one who was to demonstrate being awake. When the friends approached Jesus he told them to spend some time with him and tell John what they saw which was: “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matt 11:5
Student: That should have been enough to convince anyone. If I recall John went to his death comforted that a true messenger had arrived. So, should I expect similar things from anyone who claims to be enlightened or awake?
Teacher: First let me say that any declaration of being awake is a sign of the ego at work. Did you notice in reading the gospel account that Jesus never declared himself as the Christ, or even a Christ?
Student: Now that you mention it I think that is true.
Teacher: What made people think he was the Christ?
Student: His works as well as his enlightened teachings
Teacher: Yes, and this is the only way a true messenger will announce himself. It will be through his words and works. Do you know of anyone in this age who has announced himself in this way?
Student: Can’t say that I do but have encountered several who have announced themselves using the ego’s method by just declaring themselves awake or enlightened. If you are correct all students I know have a long way to go for I do not see any of them performing great miracles as did Jesus.
Teacher: And do not forget the greatest miracle of all – the overcoming death itself. Even after they destroyed his body Jesus was able to bring it back to apparent life.
Student: It’s kind of amusing that many think that some Course luminaries have overcome death even though there have been no bodies missing from their tombs or appearing to friends afterwards.
Teacher: This idea of placing high profile teachers in the same league as Jesus overcoming death is quite common. Many spiritual movements have declared, with no evidence, that their founders or significant teachers were ascended after they were dead and buried. The truth is that they were overtaken by death just like everyone else.
Student: Is Jesus the only one in history then who has overcome death?
Teacher: No. There are a few but not many of their works are known to history. The Course mentions them once here:
“There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain.” M-26.2
Student: I must have read this but not registered it correctly. These individuals can appear to people after their death just as Jesus was reported as doing.
Teacher: Yes, and miracles also followed them but they didn’t receive the recognition as did Jesus, for Jesus had a mission to demonstrate power over death in a dramatic way so others could see beyond the illusion.
Student: That is encouraging that there are others besides Jesus. I can see though that I still have a ways to go as I have never been able to make the blind see or the deaf hear, let alone raise the dead.
Teacher: But you are much further along the path than others who believe themselves to be awake while they are yet in a deep sleep.
Look at it this way. Imagine a path going from point A to Point B. The first person thinks he is just a couple steps from his destination, but in reality he has taken a wrong turn and does not know where he is. The other person is 75% there, knows his true location and how far he has yet to travel. Which one has the advantage?
Student: The second, of course.
Teacher: Is the belief of the first guy that he is almost there helpful at all?
Student: No. His delusion is a great hinderance.
Teacher: Even so, it is with students who believe they are a step away from heaven but do not realize where they really are. Such an illusion will delay the awakening.
Student: I can see that I need to monitor my own progress so my ego does not lead me into that trap. I appreciate your counsel.
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Copyright by J J Dewey
Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE, Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE, Twenty HERE, Twenty-One HERE, Twenty-Two HERE, Twenty-Three HERE, Twenty-Four HERE, Twenty-Five HERE, Twenty-Six HERE, Twenty-Seven HERE, Twenty-Eight HERE, Twenty-Nine HERE, Thirty HERE
ACIM Conversations, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25
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