Excerpts from the Workshop held at the
Foundation for A Course in Miracles
Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
"The Dreamer of the Dream" (cont.)
Now here is the world's dream:
(T-27.VII.12:1) A brother separated from yourself, an ancient enemy, a murderer who stalks you in the night and plots your death, yet plans that it be lingering and slow; of this you dream.
That is everybody's paranoid fantasy, and we are all paranoid. That is how we live. We are always being stalked, and in the end we will die. The ultimate "brother" here is God, because as Freud taught and as many other people have said, from the moment we are born we are preparing to die. But it is lingering and slow. Usually our lives last decades, but the end is sure. That is our life here; that is the projection of sin, guilt, and fear.
The beginning of Chapter 13 has one of the most telling descriptions in A Course in Miracles of what life in the body is really about. It is awful. The second paragraph in the Introduction describes life in the body as filled with suffering, pain, deprivation, and lack. The discussion culminates in the line: "If this were the real world, God would be cruel" (T-13.in.3:1). The clear implication is that it is not the real world. It is the illusory world, and God knows nothing about it. That is what this world's dream is about. It is the projection of our guilt (the secret dream we are not aware of) onto the world, and now the world is going to punish us: I am not the sinner, I am the sinned against. I am not the victimizer who has destroyed Heaven's Love, killed off God, and crucified His Son; everyone else is. I have taken my sin and my guilt and projected them out. Now I see the world doing to me what I secretly (in my secret dream) believe I did to God and to love and to truth.
Now the underlying dream:
(T-27.VII.12:2) Yet underneath this dream is yet another, in which you become the murderer, the secret enemy, the scavenger and the destroyer of your brother and the world alike.
We all carry within us this horrid, horrid belief that we are the killer and everyone around us ought to watch out. We therefore try to pretend that we are civilized. Sometimes we try to pretend that we are nice, kind, sweet, and loving, but within us we are the scavengers; we are the cannibals stalking our prey, waiting to seize upon whatever our specialness demands. We are overwhelmed with guilt, and the more overwhelmed we are, the less we are aware of it. When we are unaware of guilt, we project it, and that just reinforces the secret dream.
(T-27.VII.12:3) Here is the cause of suffering, the space between your little dreams and your reality.
The cause of suffering is not the world's dream, not what happens to my body, not what happens within my body, not what my body does to other bodies. The cause of suffering is in the secret dream—the mind's belief it has sinned against God and has separated from Him. It is the gap, the separation between the little "s" self and the capital "S" Self, which I believe I have destroyed.
(T-27.VII.12:4) The little gap you do not even see, the birthplace of illusions and of fear, the time of terror and of ancient hate, the instant of disaster, all are here [not in the world].
The world's dream is nothing more or less than the projection of the sleeping dream, the secret dream in the mind. The cause of all suffering lies within the original dream.
(T-27.VII.12:5-6) Here is the cause of unreality. And it is here that it will be undone.
That last sentence is the most important of all: "And it is here that it will be undone." It will not be undone in the world. It makes no sense to try to change an unreal world, to try to correct a dream that does not exist. It is a projection of the dream that we believe exists, which is in the mind and has nothing whatsoever to do with the body. It is here that it will be undone. It will be in the secret dream that the answer is found. There is a wonderful line in the previous chapter of the text that says, "In crucifixion is redemption laid" (T-26.VII.17:1). The crucifixion of God's Son does not occur in the body. It did not occur on Calvary. It has nothing to do with what one reads in the New Testament. The crucifixion of God's Son is the secret dream, what we believe we did to Christ, and what we continually relive and project. We believe it is being relived, and we are the victims.
Again, the gap is the separation between my Christ Self and my ego self, the one mind and the split mind. That is when the tiny, mad idea is taken seriously. Basically it is the thought of separation made real. That is the gap, and that is the problem. Even more specifically, the problem is that my decision-making mind chose the ego's way of looking at that gap, the tiny, mad idea, as opposed to the Holy Spirit's. The ego's way of looking at that gap is to say it is sinful and it is serious. The Holy Spirit's way of looking at that gap is to say, what gap?—nothing happened. But within that little gap the entire world arose, because that little gap is the secret dream. That little gap taken seriously gets blown up into this monstrous thought that we destroyed Heaven, which then becomes so terrifyingly real that the only way to escape from the burden of guilt inherent in that thought is to project it and get rid of it.
Therefore, we make up a world that is nothing more than a little blip, a little thought in a gap that never even happened. But within that little gap, we believe everything has happened, and we believe everything is gargantuan, monstrous, and terrible. All the pain and suffering are found in that little gap, except there is no pain and suffering because there is no gap. Thus, the problem is that we believe there is a gap; we believe there is separation, and therefore that there is pain and suffering. So the problem is not the pain and suffering, and it is not the little gap or the separation. The problem is that we believe it is there. But that belief then gets so covered over with our guilt and fear, and then covered over by the world's dream, that there is no way of getting back to it, which is why time, as the manual says, winds on wearily (M-1.4:4-5). The world is getting very, very tired because we are just recycling the same hate and guilt, and nothing ever changes. Nothing will ever change, unless one gets past the world's dream to the secret dream.
It is most important to recognize how terrified we are of doing that, and how great our resistance is to moving past the world's dream to the secret dream. That is really one of the major points of this class. It is really important to get in touch with how resistant we are to doing that. That is why we think Jesus is talking about bodies, and why people think that Jesus wants people to bring this course into the world. What world? What world is there to save? That is the world's dream. The ego wants us to save the world. The ego loves it if people put spiritual books in every motel room. The ego wants us to believe bodies have to be saved, and the greater the number, the greater the salvation.
But the secret dream happens in one mind, and each of us is a fragment of that one mind. When our fragmentary mind is healed, we are that one mind that is healed, but the resistance to taking that step is enormous. And again, the reason for this discussion is to help people avoid making that mistake with this course. This is not about bodies; this is not about the world's dream. A Course in Miracles is part of the world's dream, where the source of this course is the happy dream in the mind we call by the name of Jesus. But the real source of this course is the thought of Love that is in everyone's mind. We give it a name because we think we have a name, so this course plays the game with us until it helps us realize that there is a truth beyond the game. And that truth is in the mind; it is not in the body. It is not in a set of pages and a group of words; it is not in a person who is said to be the author. That is a fairy tale. It is a nice fairy tale, very meaningful to us, but if you just stay with that and do not get beyond the symbol to the source, you make the world's dream real.
Remember, what the ego loves to do and is so expert at doing—almost better than anything else it does—is to spiritualize the world's dreams. It brings religion and spirituality into the world, into the body, into the presence of gurus, spiritual teachings, spiritual texts, holy places, holy books, holy relics—anything that makes the world and the body real, instead of seeing everything here, without exception, as a potential symbol that leads us back to the secret dream. The happy dream is the correction for the secret dream, so Jesus reinterprets the world's dream for us. He helps us understand it is a symbol, a projection of the secret dream. Once we get back to the secret dream of the wrong mind, we can then gain access to the right mind, because that is where Jesus is, and that is the happy dream. If you try to forgive the outer world, you are not doing anything. You are just rooting yourself in the outer world and you will never get back to the mind. As long as the mind is not healed, the mind's mistaken choice for the ego will never be looked at, and therefore will never be healed, which means our individual self will always be alive and well.