What is the World?
Our special theme says, “Let us not be satisfied until forgiveness has been made complete. And let us not attempt to change our function. … what was made to die can be restored to everlasting life.”
With these words, our special theme encourages us to stay with our spiritual practice until the final end of the ego.
How do we know when the ego has reached its final end?
Our special theme says that in truth “all the world must disappear.”
Here are a few quotes to consider:
Only when the world-illusion goes does the blissful light of Self arrive. Life lived in this bright, blissful light is our true, natural life. Other ways of life are full of trouble and fear. ~ Ramana Maharshi
The Self, revealed as our true nature within the heart through the power of Self-inquiry, is none other than the peerless reality of the Supreme, which alone remains after this worldly illusion has faded into nothingness. ~ Muruganar
He who knows the state in which there is neither the world nor the thought of it, he is the Supreme Teacher. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
When the mind abandons the movement of thought, the appearance of the world ceases. ~ Vasistha
The world no longer is, whether past, present or to come, after awakening to the supreme reality in the real Self, the Eternal, from all wavering free. ~ Adi Sankara
There are many, many more quotes that point to the disappearance of the world as the sign of true awakening. However, I will end with just one more quote:
There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth. He will return and go still farther, or perhaps step back a while and then return again. ~ A Course in Miracles, Lesson 132
The end of ego and the disappearance of the world are both only concepts for me. I have not experienced either. However, it feels both gentle and right to commit myself to spiritual practice for as long as I look in the mirror (referring to yesterday’s analogy) and see a world.
Forgiveness ends all suffering and loss.
NTI 1 Corinthians speaks of a stage of enlightenment in which existence in the world is pure joy. It says:
The fourth phase is a glorious phase, upon which your feet shall barely touch the ground. As you walk the earth, you know where you walk, so that the earth is merely a symbol within the mind. You shall not know brothers, but you shall talk to them. You will not need food, but you will eat with joy. Music shall accompany you in your every moment, and yet, you will have no need for your ears. Your sight will be changed from earthly sight to sight that is provided from Heaven. All things shall be new, and you shall have no need for any of them. In this, your joy shall be complete.
From there, NTI 1 Corinthians goes on to say:
The purpose of your life in the fourth phase of living on earth shall not be different than the purpose at any other time. Only now, in the fourth phase, the distractions have been erased. In letting yourself become an empty shell, you freed yourself from the desire for distraction. Now, in the fourth stage, your focus is complete. Now you know what you want, and you want it wholly. …
The one that seems to be in the fourth stage is but a symbol of the truth that is. So this one must pass away also. But in its passing, you pass from a final illusion of beauty to Beauty that cannot be contained in illusion. You pass from form, which reflects Light, to Light, which shines into form.
You shall not know death in your passing from the fourth phase to Light, for this passing is recognition of Life. This passing is acceptance of all that is true and all that has always been true. This passing is the final release of illusion, so that no illusion may appear to you. And death is an illusion. So you shall not know death, because you have accepted that illusion does not exist.
Therefore, be willing to become an empty shell. And be willing for this completely. For it is through emptiness that illusion is released, and it is through releasing it, that illusion is taken away.
Letting go of I-thought thinking takes us from a dream of suffering to a dream of joy, but that is not yet the end of the I-thought. If we stop our spiritual practice upon reaching this threshold, we can experience a reemergence of the ego thought system.
It is in our best interest to welcome the happy dream as an opportunity to continue our spiritual practice without distraction until we find ourselves ushered across the threshold, through the experience of the ego’s final end, to “Beauty that cannot be contained in illusion.”
If you have 30 minutes for meditation today, I recommend this meditation: