The Glorious Journey Home
via A Course in Miracles
Introduction – This Is The Simple Truth… but am I ready to hear it?
The world I see is not real. Everything I perceive that appears substantial, everything that I believe to be real in this world, in fact, doesn't exist. It is not there. It is imagined in the mind. There, within the mind, it is projected onto an inner screen, where it is associated with a form and labeled with a name found in internal memory and tagged to be at some particular location ‘outside of me' or ‘inside of me' at a given time. Meaning is then given to it through further associations with large scale memory patterns stored in the mind, and a story or a belief plays itself out in the field of consciousness. But none of this exists. There is no such thing as form, there is no such thing as different names, there is no such thing as location either in time or space, and there is no such thing as ‘outside' or ‘inside'. There are no objects or happenings. There are not even imagined happenings. None of it is real. None of what appears exists.
Some of what is perceived in the awareness is labeled as being outside. This includes all physical objects, such as bodies and other phenomena and seemingly solid things. But also this includes non-solid intangible phenomena, such as all manner of energies and all manner of information like, ideas, teachings, knowledge, images, sounds, concepts, plans, believed to be impacting on me from outside. All these may be described as arising from a world outside of me, from where it enters my awareness through my gross and subtle senses. On the other hand, some of what appears in my awareness is labeled as appearing inside. This includes visions, dreams, emotions, brainstorms or just common thoughts, all seen to be within the mind, even though they may be associated with events and happenings believed to be outside. But, whether it is tangible or intangible, perceived or imagined, believed to be outside or inside, all of it is imagined, and all of it is only inside. Nothing cognizable or differentiable or perceivable or quantifiable ever exists.
This revelation is so important that it merits repeating. The process is this: Thoughts pop up in the firmament of the mind, much like random clouds appearing in the blue sky on a sunny afternoon. Initially the thoughts have no content. They are just bits of energy rising spontaneously above the noise level. They interact with memory stored in the mind from some previous conditioning, and become associated with specific names and forms in the mental data base. And inherent in that assignment is also a specific place in time and space. Now its specialness has been established. It has been bounded with identification and location.
Once these random upwellings of energy have been associated with a particular content, the mind's proclivity towards giving meaning to all that appears, now strings these tagged thoughts together into superstructures of ‘meaningful' conglomerates of thoughts, much like individual cloudlets appearing to congregate together into larger cloud structures, storms and fronts, or like individual images strung together, one following the other, making up the film of a movie.
These bundles of thoughts are projected as images or sounds or ideas or other complex mental forms on the screen of the mind. Some of them are then further classified by the mind, and interpreted to be outside of itself, and believed to be impacting on it from elsewhere, where they are believed to exist. Some are interpreted to be inside, internal to the mind and the individual personality body complex it believes itself to be in. These might take the form of happenings or feelings or beliefs… all the experiences that seem to have real meaning or even those that are only vaguely ‘known' and remain mysteries, yet to be defined. But, all of it, whether it is perceived to be ‘outside' or ‘inside', known or unknown, is made-up stuff that is only inside. It is all the same, much like every character and object and happening in a dream is all the same mind stuff. It is all just totally insubstantial fluff happening within the mind, with no real source and no relation to reality whatsoever.
What's more, the mind itself is not real. It is a hobgoblin made of nothing. It doesn't exist. It is a bundle of thoughts, which have no existence of their own. Reality doesn't know of thoughts, or their imaginary center we call the mind. Thoughts appear from out of nowhere and return to nowhere. They have no basis, no origin, no existence. They have no temporal or spatial connection with each other. They are a trick, an illusion, a hallucination of a something that seems to exist and appears to be capable of associating with other thoughts in a connected stream of ideas, to manufacture plans, strategies, affiliations, knowledge, meaning, etc., in a host of variegated forms. But it's all just a juggler's trick.
Reality knows nothing of this. It is all just a hallucination. But it is a hallucination without a hallucinator, a juggler's trick without a juggler. There is no one doing anything, no one making things happen. There is no cause, no source, no agency, no doer, no thinker, no locatable focal center. And, hence, there is no me. And furthermore, there is no you. And, neither is there a he or she or we or it or they. Reality is not a noun or a pronoun. It is not a something. But, nor is it a nothing. It is not in the realm of words or ideas. Yet, it is. It is beyond all thought, completely free of thought. It is unchanging, unnamed, undefined, the same everywhere. All that can be said of it is that it is. It exists. It is the one existence. It is the only existence. There is nothing else. For it there is no other, no second.
In the ménage of made-up mental ideas, there appears to be a ‘me' or a ‘you' or a ‘we' viewing things from within the illusion, within the dream. Whether it really exists or not, there appears to be a ‘me' I identify with, and although this ‘me' perceives only what is unreal and nothing, nevertheless, it is believed by the false mind to be a something that really exists perceiving something that really exists. From the vantage point of delusional perception, this artificial ‘me' arrogates knowledge to itself. It gives meaning to what, in fact, can never be comprehended by the mind, and using thoughts and words to try to express what is beyond all words and thoughts. All that can ever possibly be said is: Reality Is . This cannot be satisfying or acceptable to the mind. Honed in an illusory world, the mind cries out for elaboration, for understandable meaning.
The mind cannot deal with contradictions such as the existence of a pure isness without a definable something… it cannot comprehend a pure subjective without an objective, ie., the total absence of cognizable objects to give it meaning… the mind cannot deal with seeming happenings that have no cause to make them happen… it cannot deal with a universal Self without any individual selves to contrast it… it cannot fathom an eternity that has nothing at all to do with time, being ever now, without relation to present, past or future, and being everywhere with no distinction or location.
So the mind has to divide reality into usable, digestible chunks which it can tackle, using its finest tools such as reason and analysis and creativity and memory with which it believes it can resolve any problem. But the mind itself is the problem. It is the one and only problem. The mind, believed by itself to be the only instrument available to examine reality, is itself the block. No amount of improvement or honing or educating or maturing or quieting or focusing can ever help remove its inherent flaw as an impediment for discovering reality. Then what is there to do? Give up the mind? Let it go? Does that mean replacing it with a super-mind? Or no mind? And how would this happen? Can the illusory mind be used to rid itself? Is that the path to freedom? Or do we just abandon all projects and do nothing? These are the questions to be explored here.