A Course in Miracles’s chapter 18, section 5, is titled The Happy Dream. The Course uses the term in a few places within its text and the ACIM phrase “Happy Dream” is used by many Course students and circles. Words being what they are, symbols (subject to misinterpretation), the term Happy Dream can be misunderstood. With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to answer the question, “What IS the Happy Dream?”
If you’ve ever had a lucid dream, a dream in which you knew you were dreaming, the idea of what the Happy Dream represents, should come easy to you. Like a lucid dream, the Happy Dream is a way of being, in which there is an awareness of dreaming. The illusion is recognized for what it is.
In a lucid dream, there is no fear because whatever is experienced is known to be unreal. With conscious awareness that you’re dreaming, you don’t take what you see to be real. Even if you’re confronted by a scary situation, awareness that you’re dreaming dissolves the seriousness of it. What would otherwise be fearful becomes laughable in the face of right-minded perception.
In a similar manner, the Happy Dream is one in which you are not at the effect of what is happening in perception. Knowing things as they are in truth, there is a recognition you are untouched by threat, regardless of what’s unfolding in form. You recognize that all perception is a projection of mind.
Imagine for a moment, you unequivocally knew that all of perception was a dream. What could you possibly fear? The most terrifying nightmare would have no effect because you see right through the proverbial veil. From this perspective, lightness and joy replaces misperceptions. The “dream” is a happy one.
“Prepare you NOW for the undoing of what never was.” – A Course in Miracles
The Happy Dream is right-minded, all that was thought to be a threat in form (e.g. loss, guilt, fear, unworthiness) is undone and paradoxically never happened. All conditioning, thoughts of past and future, and the separate self concept has been recognized as a hallucination.
The Happy Dream has nothing to do with life circumstances, specifics or happenings. It isn’t dependent on form. In fact, attention and investment is withdrawn from form. It’s not about manifesting the ideal life story of success, physical health (all health is of the mind), or world peace. The experience of the Happy Dream doesn’t wait on things to get better. Present knowing, that what you are, appears in this “world” but is not of this world, releases you from the laws that govern the physical plane.
The Happy Dream isn’t known intellectually but experientially as forgiveness becomes the primary and only function. ACIM offers a curriculum of forgiveness (watching without judgement.) Through habitual overlooking of misperception (errors), an experience of spiritual sight is revealed (miracles). The misperceptions of nightmares are shifted to Visions of a happy dreams. The Happy Dream is salvation.
“Salvation is a paradox indeed! What could it be except a happy dream?” – A Course in Miracles
If you’d like to learn more about ACIM and the Happy Dream, come join us on retreat in Los Angeles or via LIVE stream at the Happy Dream Retreat. Enjoy the video!