ACIM Conversations, Part 5
Is Heaven on Earth?
Teacher: In our last discussion we established that there are two major steps given in the Course necessary to fully awaken and enter heaven. Step one is seeing the real world. Step two is when the Father takes us back home. What hurdles do we need overcome before we even enter the real world?
Student: Applying forgiveness is a big one. Also, we must overcome fear, grievances. We must be willing to see Christ within our brothers, as well as ourselves, and the oneness of all life. It seems that there are quite a few steps, or hurdles as you say.
Teacher: It seems you have missed the most important and first step. Can you tell me what it is?
Student: Can’t think of anything more important than forgiveness which is stressed by the Course.
Teacher: But will you apply anything in the Course if you do not want to investigate the meaning of life?
Student: I think I see what you are getting at. The first step is asking questions about our true nature.
Teacher: Yes. We are told “the purpose of this course is to help you remember what you are… the reason for the course is that you do not know what you are.” T-9.I.2
If we do not ask this question then we will never get to the other steps or even take the Course.
Student: I’m confused over the idea that we need to take all these steps to get to heaven if we are already there as some think.
Teacher: Have you noticed that there are two groups who think we are already in heaven – those who think we experience heaven on earth and those who say we never left?
Student: I have and it hurts my brain considering some of the paradoxical discussions around these things.
Teacher: Let us explore the mystery and start with the first one. Why do you suppose that many think we can be in heaven right here on earth while still in bodies?
Student: The Course makes it sound that way in the passages previously quoted such as: “Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.” M-24.6
Teacher: To resolve these passages that seem to contradict the student must realize that sometimes the Voice speaks from the view of the eternal world and other times, for the sake of communication, it speaks from our point of view on this world. Statements made from these two viewpoints can both be true, but appear to contradict. Concerning your quote, one may assume it is spoken from the eternal view of the true reality.
From this view heaven is always here because only the real is here and our world does not even exist. There is nowhere that is not real. Heaven is now because from the eternal view there is no past or future nut only now. There is no other time because the present is the only time there is.
Student: So, heaven cannot be here on this earth because our world does not even exist in the true reality. Is that right?
Teacher: Yes and no.
Student: Now that’s the type of answer I was talking about that makes my brain hurt.
Teacher: I’ll try and go easy on your brain. While in this illusionary dream state we will not find heaven in what appears to be outside of us anywhere on earth or in any object. That’s like trying to find God in an idol, like the golden calf. But while residing on earth there is a place we can look to find heaven. Where do you suppose that would be?
Student: Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within. It is stated in the Bible and affirmed in the Course.
Teacher: The Course makes numerous statements to the effect that we have heaven and divinity within us such as:
“The Christ in you inhabits not a body. Yet He is in you. And thus it must be that you are not within a body.” T-25.in.1
“Do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you. Say, therefore: Christ is in me, and where He is God must be, for Christ is part of Him.” T-9.I.14
So, the truth, Christ, God and the Holy Spirit are all found within but it tells us they not within the body. Where are they?
Student: That’s an interesting question because when one thinks of going within the tendency is to focus within the body
Teacher: Indeed. But the body is merely a projection of our thought so we do not want to go within the projected image but we want the real thing instead. What is that?
Student: The real part of our self is one with Christ so I guess it just means to focus on your divine mind and all is available.
Teacher: Technically, “within” may not be accurate, but it is probably the best word to use to direct our focus. In reality, our true self is one with all there is and it may be more correct to say we need to look beyond this world to the true reality.
Student: So, when I look beyond the illusion to my true self am I then in heaven?
Teacher: Have you tried to do this?
Teacher: And did you find heaven?
Student: I’m not sure, but I found a really nice peace and sense of oneness.
Teacher: Did you feel that you had reached the ultimate state of existence?
Student: It felt heavenly, but I also felt there was more. Much more actually. It seems there is something beyond a normal consciousness.
Teacher: Now read this passage:
Student reads: “It is impossible to see two worlds which have no overlap of any kind. Seek for the one; the other disappears. But one remains. They are the range of choice beyond which your decision cannot go. The real and the unreal are all there are to choose between, and nothing more than these.” W-pI.130.5
Teacher: There are two worlds. One is the world of illusion and the other is called heaven. Which do you see now?
Student: I see your body, which the Course says does not exist, so I suppose I am seeing the illusion.
Teacher: Yes, and I see your body so I am in the same situation. The Course says this: “The body stands between the Father and the Heaven.” T-23.IV.7 As long as we see our bodies and this world instead of the heavenly, we are obviously not fully in heaven.
Student: You said “not fully.” Are you saying we are part way there?
Teacher: The honest seeker can catch a glimpse of heaven in his quiet moments when he takes his attention off this world but then as he goes about his daily activities, he sees only this world though he can also have a sense of the peace of heaven.
Student: Sounds like seekers are having experiences in both worlds.
Teacher: Yes, when we begin to wake up it is like going outside and being aware of the sun overhead and how powerful it is. But compare that to being the sun which would be much more encompassing.
Student: So, you are saying we can get a sense of heaven while we live here and see this world, but it will be something else to leave this world and be fully awake.
Teacher: Yes. Here’s quote verifying that thought: “No one on earth can grasp what Heaven is, or what its one Creator really means.” M-23.6
So we can get a sense of heaven while here on earth but we cannot fully grasp what it is until we return.
Student: That is kind of what I felt in my highest spiritual moments, or my holy instant.
Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:
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, Chapter Twenty-Seven – HERE, Chapter Twenty-Eight – HERE
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