What Heaven Is Not
In a nutshell, the purpose of A Course in Miracles is to help us awaken to our true reality so we can return to heaven, our true home.
The separation and entering this dream state was perhaps more serious than realized by students, for we are told there was a possibility the Son could “be lost forever in the madness of his wish.” T-25.III.2
In other words, there was a danger that the Prodigal Son could wind up living with the swine forever with no realization that there was any home to which he could return.
We are told that the Father took quick action after the fall and created the Holy Spirit as a means of communicating with the Son to eventually bring him to his senses and awaken.
Evidently, this got a little behind schedule, causing a need for extra stimulation. This is said to come to us in the form of A Course in Miracles.
As noted in chapter two, the Voice told Helen that the Course was necessary because “The world situation is worsening to an alarming degree. … Because of the acute emergency, however, the usual slow, evolutionary process is being by-passed in what might best be described as a ‘celestial speed-up.’” From Journey Without Distance by Robert Skutch
So then, the world situation produced an “acute emergency” requiring a celestial speed up. God was not going to allow us to be “lost forever” in our madness, hence the Course was given as a roadmap to heaven showing us the quickest way to get there.
You would think then that since the Course is of such great importance in awakening us to the journey home, to a heaven we have forgotten, that it would spend a lot of time refreshing our memory and tell us why it is a desirable place to seek.
Yet, instead of dangling a carrot before us to entice us to return, the Course is mysteriously silent about what heaven is like and why it is such a wonderful place compared to this material existence. It strangely tells us more about what heaven is not than what heaven is.
The Course explains why it doesn’t give more details:
Concerning heaven it says, “There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand.” W-pI.169.10 “No one on earth can grasp what Heaven is, or what its one Creator really means.” M-23.6 “Nor is there any need for us to try to speak of what must forever lie beyond words. “ T-18.IX.11 Heaven “can never be described” W-pI.122.8
“We say ‘God is,’ and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself.” W-pI.169.5.
“for what we cannot speak of, for you go from there to where words fail entirely, into a silence where the language is unspoken and yet surely understood.” W-pI.129.3
So, basically, we are told that heaven is beyond our current understanding, but we will understand when we get there. Until then, nothing can be put into words that will mean anything.
This is one of the more problematic teachings of A Course in Miracles, as it seems to correspond with a major tactic revealed about the ego:
“I have said that the ego’s rule is, ‘Seek and do not find.’ Translated into curricular terms this means, ‘Try to learn but do not succeed.’” T-12.V.7
So, we have the situation where many Course students would like to know what heaven is, to give them more impetus to take focus off the dream world to awaken to the heavenly, but we are told this is something we cannot find, not until we irreversibly get there.
This answer is like that which many young people find irritating about Sunday School. They ask questions about God, sex in heaven or why a loving God created hell, and they are told it is a mystery and you find all the answers after you die and return to God.
Well, many students would like to know more about heaven now. After all, we are told to give up everything to go there, for we can only live in one reality as indicated by the Course:
“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
We live in the unreal and we must let it go to the extent that it “disappears” so we can enter heaven. But why would we sacrifice everything that holds us to this reality for another of which we know close to nothing? If this is indeed the path we are supposed to take, wouldn’t it make sense for Higher Intelligence to reveal more about our eternal destination?
Now, each of us has a spark from God within us that can be contacted through the soul, and because of this contact, I know there are higher and more perfect realms than this, but if I had to go by merely what was written in ACIM, I would be quite confused.
On the other hand, there are many who do go strictly by what has been written, some quite literally. Therefore, it may be helpful to carefully examine what A Course in Miracles says about heaven, for despite it saying that describing it is beyond words, it does give us some words that provide interesting insights.
First, as I said, it does tell us a few things that heaven is not. Let us look at some of these.
The one thing above all others that a Course student is supposed to realize is that there are no dualities in heaven. We have “to recognize a condition in which opposites do not exist. And this is the condition of knowledge. Without this awareness you have not met its conditions, and until you do you will not know it is yours already.” T-11.VII.4
In heaven, therefore, we will only experience the positive feelings, not the negative. There will be love, but not hate, peace and nothing to attack or disturb, joy and no pain or sorrow, formlessness and no form, and only winning, for there will never “be a time when anything that it (God’s thoughts) created suffers any loss.” W-pII.11.1
Instead, there will be “an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within.” T-18.VI.1
Many students do not seem to realize that without the possibility of loss that there will be no games. Indeed, the Course speaks negatively of them: We are told that heaven is a “place where truth abides and games are meaningless.” W-pI.153.14 Heaven is a place “where losing is impossible.” W-pI.129.4
And what is it that gives us mere mortals some of our greatest enjoyments in life?
Games, where losing is possible.
One of the famous teachers and writers of ACIM is Gary Renard, and in his books, he spends considerable time telling us how much he enjoys watching ball games. I found it amusing that he spoke with more enthusiasm about attending games than going to heaven. I wondered in reading his books if he realizes that there will be no games in heaven, for there are no contrasting winners and losers there according to ACIM.
Indeed, even many spiritual writers are avid sports fans and like to attend or watch games in their free moments. Many also play games with friends and family when visiting.
We enjoy games because of the limitations, for if we knew each move in advance it would be no fun.
I submit that it is the thrill of playing games was the main draw that caused the separation. A large number of the Sons of God wanted to create a universe where we could struggle to win, and when we win with a risk of losing, we would experience a positive feeling unlike any available in the world of non-duality.
Life itself with its limitations is like a challenging game. You set goals for personal achievement and then you set out to realize them, or to win at the game of life. Then when you are successful, you get a positive feeling that is not achieved any other way.
If you think about it, this giving up the fun connected with games may be the largest obstacle in the way of entering ACIM heaven for many. Part of the problem is that many students have not realized what the Course teachings are on this matter. Lesson 79 needs to be applied: “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”
If students do not realize the changes that need to be made to end the separation, then the problem will never be solved.
That said, let us see what else that is available in mortality that may be missing in heaven.
There is no learning in heaven:
“The ability to learn has no value when change is no longer necessary. The eternally creative have nothing to learn.” T-2.II.5 “everything you learned is meaningless, replaced forever by the knowledge of love and its one meaning.” T-18.IX.12
There is no perception:
“nothing that the eyes have ever seen or ears have heard remains to be perceived.” T-27.III.7
“Perception did not exist until the separation introduced degrees, aspects and intervals” T-3.IV.1
“For the mind that knows this unequivocally, knows also that it dwells in eternity, and utilizes no perception at all.” UR T 13 A 1
There is no memory:
You will not remember change and shift in Heaven. You have need of contrast only here. T-13.XI.6
“Memory, like perception, is a skill made up by you to take the place of what God gave in your creation.” T-28.I.2 “Nothing that you remember now will you remember. “T-19.IV.D.6
There is no choice:
“The power of decision, which you made in place of the power of creation” T-14.VI.5 “Nothing conflicts with oneness. … What is there to decide? For it is conflict that makes choice possible…. The truth makes no decisions, for there is nothing to decide between.” T-26.III.1 “There is no choice of function anywhere. The choice you fear to lose you never had.” T-27.III.7
There is no consciousness:
“Consciousness, the level of perception, was the first split introduced into the mind after the separation, making the mind a perceiver rather than a creator. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are.” T-3.IV.2
“Yet the very fact that it (consciousness) has levels and can be trained demonstrates that it cannot reach knowledge.” (where heaven is) C-1.7
There is no contrast:
“There is no darkness and there is no contrast. There is no variation. There is no interruption. “ T-13.XI.3
There is no time, space, form or motion
“Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time. Both are merely beliefs. … Acts were not necessary before the separation, because belief in space and time did not exist.” T-1.VI.3-4
“Here will time end forever. At this gate (of heaven) eternity itself will join with you.” S-1.V.4
It speaks of “the eternal formlessness of God.” C-6.5 and “what love will mean to you when formlessness has been restored to you is greater still.” W-pI.186.14
“As nothingness cannot be pictured, so there is no symbol for totality. Reality is ultimately known without a form, unpictured and unseen.” T-27.III.5
There will be no special relationships
“All of your ‘friends,’ your ‘protectors’ and your ‘home’ will vanish. Nothing that you remember now will you remember.” T-19.IV.D.6
Everyone on earth has formed special relationships, and although this is not so in Heaven,” T-15.V.8
There is no change
“Nothing will ever change; no shifts nor shadings, no differences, no variations that made perception possible will still occur.” T-17.II.4
“reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place–for differences cannot exist within it” M-8.6
There are no differences
“in Heaven They are all the same, without the differences which would have made a hell of Heaven and a heaven of hell, had such insanity been possible.” T-25.VII.10
There is no individuality.
“The structure of ‘individual consciousness’ is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the ‘original error’ or the ‘original sin.’” C-in.1
We thus see that the Course tells us quite a few things that heaven is not. Without space, time and form what is left? It would seem that the answer would be nothing, but as we proceed, we will see that is not quite the case.
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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