“The thought system of the ego-mind is a learned system and this is why it can be unlearned…The thought system of the truth is always present as the truth is always present…It will thus be revealed to you as soon as the learned thought system ceases to block its realization.” A Course of Love, T1:6, 1.
Pondering upon the above passage from A Course of Love, I called upon Jesus and asked him to show me how to unlearn the ego’s thought system. Then, as I often do, I opened A Course in Miracles at random and the first words I laid eyes upon were the following: “Learning is an ability you made and gave yourself. It was not made to do the Will of God, but to uphold a wish that it could be opposed, and that a will apart from it was yet more real than it….” ACIM, Text, Ch. 31, p.646
In other words, when the mind split in two at the time of the tiny, mad idea of separation, and the ego and the world of form seemingly came into being, we taught ourselves that all that we could see and experience in the physical world was actually real. So now we take this unreal world seriously, and it certainly does seem real; we can taste things, see things, smell things and touch things in this unreal world. But all this is part of the illusion.
Fortunately, Jesus tells us that we can unlearn all this and learn the lessons of the Voice of Truth because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our minds: “Yet you will learn them, for their learning is the only purpose for your learning skill the Holy Spirit sees in all the world. His simple lessons in forgiveness have a power mightier than yours, because they call from God and from your Self to you.” Text, p.646.
How do we do this? Jesus says we have to forget all the things we ever learned and all our preconceptions about this world. (So much for all those years at school!) “Let us remember not our own ideas of what the world is for. We do not know. Let every image held of everyone be loosened from our minds and swept away.” Text, p.648. This requires a huge amount of humility so that we can acknowledge that we really don’t know anything and that we are ready to learn about the truth.
I think Jesus is really referring to the purpose of the world. That is what we have to unlearn. We have found many purposes for this world but Jesus says the only real purpose of the world is to use forgiveness to learn how to let it go. Then, he says, our true reality will dawn upon us. We will recognise our oneness with God and with each other. Then this unreal world will gently slip away.
It is important to remember that we forgive others by not judging them. If we do judge others it means we are refusing to forgive them. “Be innocent of judgment, unaware of any thoughts of evil or of good that ever crossed your mind of anyone. Now do you know him not. Now is he free to live as you are free, because an ancient learning passed away, and left a place for truth to be reborn.” Text, p.648. We wipe the slate clean for everyone we know, and we remember instead that every single person is one with us and one with God.
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