Conventional: The world of harsh rules and hard knocks that doles out painful consequences for our mistakes and does not leave room for our naive fantasies of how things ought to be.
ACIM: The world of happiness and joy made by the Holy Spirit (see T-25.III.3-5), revealed by forgiveness and looked upon by vision, by true perception. The goal of the journey, the state of mind which immediately precedes the awakening to Heaven. An intermediate state which incorporates elements of reality and illusions (see T-26.III.3). Not Heaven, but a perceptual reflection of Heaven; a dream of waking. The real world is not the world of physical form (it has no buildings, streets, stores, day or night; see T-13.VII.1 and cannot be seen with the body’s eyes (see C-4.2:1). When we have forgiven the world, we will look out from the holiness, the Christ, within. The eyes of Christ in us will reveal an inner vision of a non-physical realm. This realm, the real world, might be said to have two aspects:
- It is composed of the loving thoughts that went into the making and maintaining of this world (see T-11.VII.2), which are all that is real about the world we made. The Holy Spirit made the real world by inspiring these loving thoughts and then by putting the rest of our thoughts through a purification process that retained only the love (see T-5.IV.8:1-6). In this state we assign a different meaning to the physical world. We interpret the same familiar physical things as symbols of loving thoughts (see T-17.II.5-6) rather than of fear. We see in all things nothing but the purpose of forgiveness (see T-30.V.1:1).
- The real world is also composed of the holiness in all things, the Son of God in every person (see T-17.II.1:1-2:1). Based on this vision, we look past all things physical. We see physical things as mere shadows, mere illusions, and so they appear transparent as we look beyond them to the face of Christ.