What Is the Real World?

What is the real world? What is the state of Enlightenment? David Hoffmeister addresses these topics during an intimate discussion with Penelope Chatterton, as well as the true meaning of forgiveness as taught in A Course in Miracles.


abstract art what is the real world

In A Course in Miracles (#ACIM), the real world is equated with the state of Enlightenment. This state of mind is an actual experience, resulting from an acceptance of our Self as a pure Creation of a Loving God. The Course offers a very direct and radical path towards Awakening to this Truth, which involves releasing the belief in separation.


Enjoy a snippet from an interview with David Hoffmeister and Penelope Chatterton, "Awake in the Dream" (1998).


“Enlightenment, the real world, is upon us; it is right here in the moment!”


Awake in the Dream – The Real World


Penelope: Welcome! My name is Penelope Chatterton, and welcome to "Awake in the dream." My friends, I have a guest today. His name is David Hoffmeister. I am very excited today because we have had a chance to chat for a while before the show, and we've had a marvelous connection on a very deep spirit level. I'm happy, and I'm happy to be here, and I feel very awake.


But before David and I get started, I would like to read a little bit from lesson 66 from A Course in Miracles, "My happiness and my function are one." "God gives me only happiness. He has given my function to me. Therefore my function must be happiness." W-66.5 Are we ready to handle "My function is only #happiness"?


I want you to help us with a definition, a simple definition of what is the real world.



David: What is the real world? Well, from what we just read, the real world would be happy. Instead of trying to—as we’ve done so much as part of our conditioning—and of thinking that we can get the right pieces of the puzzle or get things to work out the way that we want them to work out, it is more of a surrender into a state of happiness, where also the word "non-judgement" really seems to come in.


We have been told by Jesus, "Judge not lest you be judged." (Matthew 7:1) And really, it is about surrendering our judgments. And that happiness, peace of mind, and non-judgment—that is the state of mind of the real world, and it is possible to live in it; in fact, it’s very alluring!

Penelope: Yes, it is very appealing, and we are there! A Course in Miracles tells us we are awake, and we are home; there is no journey; there is no place to go; we do not have to do a twenty-part series to show people how to wake up. But, today we are hoping, and I am hoping, that you can help me to tell our friends how to be awake.


When you say "the real world," can we talk about the basic premise that we are created, we are an extension of love and of God, that we have everything? I feel like that cannot be said enough that that can go over our heads, we forget that so easily. We have everything; we are whole; we are perfect; we are healthy; we are perfect; we are intense energy; we are created by God; we are extensions; and we keep it alive by sharing it.



"If God created us perfect even a journey back to God has to be an illusion of a journey!"

David: Yes. That is the premise of what our existence if we are created as an idea in the mind of God. An idea in the Mind of God would have to share the attributes of God. You hear a lot about God is love, but if we are children of God, if we were created in the likeness and image of God, then we must share the attributes—eternal, perfect, changeless, infinite. These are the attributes.


And also to be practical, because when people go through this world they say, "Well, that can sound very high and very lovely," and you know, "La la la," and go around. There have been phrases, connotations, of "bliss ninny," and so on and so forth. But we are talking about a real experience here, and an experience that is extremely simple. It is only the complexities of the ego that make it seem out of grasp—or something like a spiritual attainment where you have to work hard, very hard, to attain the state of #Enlightenment—whereas what we are looking at is that Enlightenment, the real world, is upon us; it is right here in the moment!


Jesus kept like giving us clues, he said, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2) At hand; a hand is very close! This is not something we are talking about that is centuries and centuries away, we are talking about a state of mind that is so pristine and so joyful, and it is right here and now! And so, really our only task is, if anything comes up and arises in our mind that's not that joy or happy… Then it should be released immediately, because it serves no purpose if we really want to be happy.

Anything that is not love, is just quite simply a wrong-minded perception. That is what is so great about the Course: 1200-and-some pages to say basically… To give us the metaphor like a stepping stone, where he has dropped the Course into our seeming experiences in the world to say, "I’m going to give you a ladder, and it seems like you are going to go through a journey of climbing out"—even though this is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed; implying that once you reach the top of the ladder, the ladder is going to disappear, and you are going to forget the climb, which makes sense in the sense of if God created us perfect even a journey back to God has to be an illusion of a journey!


And to really come to clarity is really just to see the false as false. #Forgiveness is not still holding onto something that somebody really wronged you, somebody really did something, or that you really have done something to somebody else, but to start to see that, Maybe my perception of what occurred has been completely mistaken.


What true absolution, what true joy comes from letting go of thinking that something terrible has been done wrong, and something has to therefore be done to make right, when it is really more of surrender into the state of mind.




The Full Interview:



Find more inspiring conversations and recordings with David Hoffmeister on a-course-in-miracles.org.