All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
-William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616
Life is but a series of theatrical plays where we come and go in costume sometimes playing many different characters before the final scene comes and the curtain falls. Shakespeare hit the nail on the head when he lined Jaques’ character in dialogue with Duke Senior that, “All the world’s a stage.” We come but for a short time to play out our parts, earn and release some Karma along the way and, then exit stage left.
The lives we live are but short reenactments of a perpetuating nightmare where we run from the monster only to find that the monster was inside. We play the game to overcome obstacles so that we may “win” a one-way trip to the hereafter. Depending on the lesson, we win some and we lose some. The game of loss being sometimes unnecessarily painful, but the rewards, Heavenly!
So, you might ask, “If this life is just a stop-over for another stage entrance where then is Heaven? How does Heaven factor into this theatrical scheme?” These are very good questions. The Author of A Course in Miracles (the Course) answers this for us.
The new perspective you will gain from crossing over [the bridge] will be the understanding of where Heaven is. From here it seems to be outside and across the bridge. Yet as you cross to join it, it will join with you and become one with you. And you will think in glad astonishment that for all this you gave up nothing! The joy of Heaven, which has no limit, is increased with each light that returns to take its rightful place within it. Wait no longer, for the love of God and you. And may the holy instant speed you on the way, as it will surely do if you but let it come to you.
The Author, being the spirit of Jesus also referred to as the Holy Spirit, channeled Its wisdom for seven years from 1965 to 1972 through a now deceased Helen Schucman, a Clinical and Research Psychologist who taught medical psychology at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Schucman was said to be an appropriate candidate to scribe for Jesus; being a non-religious Jew, she considered herself to be an extreme agnostic.
A Course in Miracles contains over 1100 pages of channeled dictation. Its principal lesson is forgiveness. We are to forgive the illusion that we are bodies and that we have separated ourselves from God. Jesus encourages us to be mindful remembering who we are through forgiveness. He teaches us that we need to forgive ourselves, God, and the world, and that Heaven is a perception that needs to be relearned. He tells us that we have forgotten who we are and that He is “the bridge” that will lead us back from fear to Love.
Jesus teaches that it is here from where we stand in our point of reference that we cannot see Heaven. Forgiveness removes the veil of time concealing Heaven. Jesus teaches us how to forgive and to use forgiveness so that Heaven is once again restored.
We have much work to do before we will be able to cross the bridge and join Jesus to become One with Him. So, He lovingly asks us to use the illusion (this world) as our classroom. He says we have nothing but time here to make good use of our lessons.
We come to this planet to live lives based initially on fear. However, our mission is lofty and our power is great. We climb the mountains of pain and suffering to reach new heights of understanding. It is at the summit where wisdom tells us that we must go back down.
Upon obtaining a higher perspective at the summit, we are then asked to descend to the valley floor and walk among our brothers and sisters demonstrating forgiveness by offering it unconditionally. Forgiving the illusion is our chief mission; the mission being our Divine life purpose. It is our purpose to teach others that which we have learned.
The stage is set; we enter stage right acting out roles sanctified in peace. We act out bit parts demonstrating how we forgave the world, and then we act no more. Exiting stage left, the curtain falls.
After a long and difficult climb to the mountain top, we are crowned masters of peace having mastered wisdom. Full of heart, we set out to immerse ourselves back into our daily lives though this time, it is different! We now know the truth of who we are.
From this truth, we come to understand that we use the illusion to help us meet with Peace (Jesus) on the bridge. When it is time, He will gently take our hands and quietly walk us over to where we join with Heaven. Until this time comes however, we wisely choose to “buy into” the concept of being multidimensional beings existing on many planets in many solar systems and dimensions/universes at the same time as well as within future and past.
Notice I said we wisely buy into the notion that anything seemingly not of Oneness is real? We do this with our faculties in tact knowing that it is a means to an end. Our sanity relies heavily on not believing in any of it! By “any of it” I mean, bodies, future or past lives, this or other planets, this or other solar systems, and this or other universes/dimensions.
As a result of climbing the rocky and sometimes treacherous path to the summit of our Souls, it is understood that there is nothing real outside the Kingdom of God – perfect Oneness – and therefore, there is truly nothing to forgive. The Course is very clear about this. It teaches that Love is all there is – period!
What does this mean? It means that bodies and worlds are nothing; they do not exist. The Course teaches us that what we perceive to be real is but an illusion. We are dreaming and we need to wake up! Just like we dream in bed while sleeping. This life we believe to be our reality is but another version of the dream created by the powerful mind of the Son of God.
Fear resides within this world. The ego mind makes sure of it. Anything of the ego is not true. The ego tells us all kinds of stories, just like Shakespeare’s plays. Every ego mind has a body that lives for a while and then dies. It cares about what other people think, it judges and condemns, it lies and hates, and it will even murder.
Within this world of egos and bodies, we thrive on fear hoping it will somehow make us healthier, happier, richer, and more powerful (than the next guy). Ego operates from fear-based thinking. It cannot tolerate Love. It needs us to abide within a perpetual state of some level of fear. However, it tries to mimic Love with its own version of what love is.
Let’s take a moment and compare the ego thought system to God’s. God’s is pure, unconditional changeless Love. It began as Love, remained as Love, and will stay as Love for all Eternity. This is pretty simple, right? In comparison, the ego’s version of love is conditioned. I will love you if …
The ego is complicated, ever changing, and ruthless. God is One and changeless. The ego likes to see us suffer and will make sure to kick us a little harder than the time before the next time we fall. God loves to see us thrive in love, peace, joy and abundance. Fear pushes Love away. God only knows how to Love. Fear wants to strip us of all happiness and make us feel unworthy and unloved. God only knows how to Love us. The ego will tear us down one molecule at a time. God only knows how to build us up and raise us from the dead. The ego wants to make us sick and disabled. God only knows us as perfect. The ego is vengeful. God is Love. The ego wants us to end in death. God knows of no endings and only wants Life for us.
Simply put. Heaven is Love and ego is fear. It is all in a choice. In every moment, we are either choosing love to experience love, or fear in the hope of experiencing love.
For the most part, we are not consciously choosing to be fearful because all we really want is to love and be loved, to have all that we need and desire, and to give generously to others. This is what the Spirit in us wants for us. We want to have a good life and fill it with people who love us. However, the ego mind often gets in Love’s way.
In order to get past the ego, our only option is to choose Love. We literally have to change our minds. We have to swap-out the old tapes for the new. We have to release the ego thought system by surrendering it to Love and in doing so, Love heals us and we begin to see clearly.
The ego does not hold the kind power that Love wields. Therefore, all we need to know and trust is that Love is real and God is Love. God loves us like Heaven loves Him. Since God is Love and Love is in us and Love is Heaven, then Heaven must be in us. Think about that for a second. Bodies die, but Love goes on. With Heaven and Love being synonymous, we can conclude that Heaven is right here where we are.
Let me try and clarify this for you. Forget the body for a moment. What do you have left? You have your Soul, right! Where did your Soul come from? It came from God, right! Where is God? He’s in Heaven? Yes, of course! But, wait a minute. God is supposed to be in us. If God is in us, that must mean He is our Soul, all Souls together as One. He is a part of us, but the part is also the whole of Him. If God is in Heaven and He is within us, then we must conclude that Heaven is in us, too! So what does this mean? It means that Heaven is right here where we stand. Heaven is not outside of us. Heaven is here, right here within us.
Remember, your thoughts (perceptions) create your experiences. Since you can think yourself into experiencing fear such as suffering, pain, and grief (likened to a living hell), then you can think yourself into Heaven. Heaven is a perception. It is not a place where we go after we die. It is an experience we can have right here right now simply be choosing to believe. We do not have to wait until our bodies die to enter Heaven. Jesus (and I) cannot emphasize this enough!
There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is in that realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling-place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness and nothing else within.
I hope we have been able to be clear about this. Heaven is a state of mind and we will see and experience what our minds produce as soon as we choose to believe it. It is as simple as changing our minds. If you are experiencing something that you know is born of fear, then change your thoughts to something loving. The more often you practice this, the sooner you will experience yourself to be in Heaven, right here.
By the way, as you begin to experience Heaven as a result of changing your mind, the perpetual roller coaster ride you set foot on when you agreed to be a player on this great worldly stage of ego-made and man-directed illusions will promptly end. Is that not something worth changing your mind about? Of course however, it depends on whether or not you like to ride roller coasters, doesn’t it? It is your choice because it has always been up to you.
Whatever you choose to think, feel and do, just remember who you really are and forgive; this being the key to real success in living authentically. It is my hope that you have chosen to accelerate your spiritual growth by taking what you learned from this book of higher consciousness and apply it to your everyday life. May you rest within the knowledge that your Soul loves you unconditionally and that you are a magnificent Being of Light who did not, but appeared to have, taken a leap into an illusion. May you have grown to understand why you are who you are and that this world is but a playground where Souls appear to come for a little while to experience the opposite of what we know to be true. You are the Light this world needs. We are calling out to you.