Jul 31, 2002
T31.VIII Choose Once Again

Good evening. We will jump right in, starting with the section, Choose Once Again.

And for those who haven’t been here before, what we’re doing is reading one paragraph and then passing the microphone on to the next person. And I will jump in and offer remarks from time to time. And if you have questions about what has been read, speak up. It’s a group participation Gathering. So let’s start here. And for those who haven’t been here before, if you will kiss the mic, hold it about this far from your mouth.

Choose Once Again 1

Temptation has one lesson it would teach, in all its forms, wherever it occurs.

Excuse me. Considering what we have discussed in the last four or five get-togethers, what would you say the word “temptation” means or, shall I say, what was the first temptation?

Separation? How about believing that we were separated? Taking the ego standpoint, or looking at things from an ego standpoint. 2

Well what had to happen in order for separation to seem to occur?

Mutual agreement.

Indeed.

I don’t think the microphone’s on.

Yes. The speakers aren’t on.

Oh, okay.

But the microphone is. Yes.

You might say that the tempter was the first Son of God who turned to a second Son or Daughter of God and said, “Suppose the meaning of this tree is such-and-such. Wouldn’t it be interesting to look at everything, at all trees with this meaning given to them, instead of what God has made it as, instead of what we’re seeing it as?” And when the second Son or Daughter of God said, “This sounds like an interesting activity. I’ll join you in it, and we will conduct ourselves as though this is the truth about trees.” . . that is when the experience of separation occurred. That is when they moved into a fantasy, a daydream. You see? And their daydream distracted them from Reality as Reality Is.

Continue…

If I may?

Yes.

Was it when we became aware of free will, that through that realization that’s when we mutually agreed with someone?

Let’s put it this way, what is called “free will” didn’t come into play until two decided to have a point of view different from the Father’s. That, then, seemed to create the illusion of a will different from the Father’s, which was free of the Father, and therefore free to imagine any delusion it wanted.

Temptation has one lesson it would teach, in all its forms, wherever it occurs. It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders him to feel. It sets the limits on what he can do; its power is the only strength he has; his grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach. Would you BE this, if Christ appeared to you in all His glory, asking you but this,

“Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there.”

You see, a choice was made to indulge in a mutual fantasy. And so, in order to reverse the effects of that choice, a new choice has to be made. The last line of your paragraph is:

For He HAS come, and He IS asking this.

“Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there.”

So that is what all of you are being asked to do, which really means you’re being asked to regain your sanity, to embrace it, to snap out of the daydream, to be willing to abandon the “excitement,” the thrill of always being out-of-sync with God. And as I said before, all of you have been Awake. You didn’t start out somewhere down at the bottom of the scale going through stages of evolution to finally arrive at a spiritual selfhood.

If you’re not experiencing Reality, or the Kingdom of Heaven as it is, then at some point you, as one who was fully Awake and, I will say, fully Christed, made a choice together with another Christ, and the choice took you into a fantasy, a daydream, an illusory experience of Reality, and lost your sane experience of Reality.

Now the moment that happened, what has come to be called the Holy Spirit became defined, I will put it that way. And I have said before that the Holy Spirit is your divinity held in trust while you dally with the daydream, while you dally with this illusory experience of being an ego.

Now the call is coming to you, it has always been coming to you from that of you called the Holy Spirit, which could never stop being what God is expressing as you. It is calling and has been calling to you, but also I am calling to you. I am calling to you through the Course. I am calling to you through many forms of media and I am also calling to you from the withinness of you so that you can hear me as directly as Paul is hearing me. And I and your Guides are calling you to Wake up, to come Home, to abandon the preoccupation with the daydream. You are being called to choose again.

Okay. Let’s continue.

Question.

Yes.

Once the two came to agreement, and that established what was previously called “the world,” and then…

Well, it “established” ‘cause it couldn’t really do it…

Yes.

… but it “established” the Kingdom of Heaven as “the world” instead.

Right. And then you can… then individuals could choose to participate in that, not necessarily paired up with some other person. I mean they could be in agreement with the group that had already established the illusion.

You could say that. Yes.

Right.

As all of you are aware, it is an interesting experience. And it is an experience that is available. You know, even in your experience here, touching a hot stove is an interesting experience. But why do it? You see?

Okay. Continue…

How do you make the choice? How easily is this explained! You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you. And what you choose is what you think is real. Simply…

Excuse me.

Let’s reverse that. And what you think is real is what you choose.

So if it is hard for you to believe that you are the Son or Daughter of God, that you are the Christ, that you are exactly as God created you or exactly as God is Being you at this moment, if you don’t believe that and you do believe that you’re just a physical body that came from a sperm and an egg, you will go with your belief. You will choose what you believe. And so, Waking up is a matter of changing what you believe.

Waking up amounts to considering the possibility that you are the unbelievable, that you are what you can’t yet believe. And you must be willing to embrace that possibility and explore it with vigor and enthusiasm, if for no other reason than there is the possibility that that might be an even more interesting experience than the dream you’re dreaming.

Continue…

Simply by never using weakness to direct your actions, you have given it no power.

And I’m going to interrupt again.

Almost the same thing as saying, the only thing the ego cannot defend itself against is disregard. When you stop coming from the place of your definition of yourself that you and someone else have mutually-agreed-upon as the definition of you, the definition begins to cease governing the way you experience yourself and the Kingdom of Heaven, which you’re calling “the world.” And it begins to change spontaneously because the mutually-agreed-upon definition is not being reinforced.

Continue…

And the light of Christ in you is given charge of everything you do. For you have brought your weakness unto Him, and He has given you His strength instead.

It could as easily say that you have brought your weakness unto the Holy Spirit or you have brought your weakness unto God or you have brought your weakness unto your Guide. The point is that you have reached out beyond your current definition of yourself. You have abandoned self-reliance on your current definition of yourself and you have abandoned isolation by reaching out.

Continue…

Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.

Yes. Now, before you continue… trials, difficulties, stresses, anxieties, etc., are but lessons that you failed to learn. Well, there’s really only one lesson to be learned, no matter what form these trials take. If you in your dream are experiencing trials, no matter what the form is, and you try to deal with the trials within the dream, you’re doing absolutely nothing. Even if you succeed in rearranging things so that that trial no longer happens, you still have learned nothing.

Because the only learning that you can arrive at, no matter what the trials are, is that the trials are a result of a mutual agreement that you’ve given commitment to and you’re neglecting to pay attention to the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, like a student in a classroom who’s looking out the window thinking about what he’s going to do after school and is not hearing what’s going on in the classroom… who imagines what he would like to do, and then thinks about the fact that, oh, his mother’s probably gonna say “No,” and she always says “No,” and he really doesn’t like his mother, and so on, you see, is manufacturing in his daydream a distress. And for him to try to resolve the distress about his mother by thinking better thoughts about her, still doesn’t get him to the point where he is noticing what’s going on in the classroom. You see?

So, the only learning that can come from the distresses, no matter what they’re called or what their meanings are, the only learning that can occur from them is, “Oh, I’m not paying attention to God… Oh, I’m not paying attention to what’s Really going on… Oh, I’m no longer being curious to see the Kingdom of Heaven right here”… and then shifting your attention. Then learning occurs.

Continue…

In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, “My brother, choose again.” He would not leave one source of pain unhealed, nor any image left to veil the truth. *[He would remove all misery from you whom God created altar unto joy.] He would not leave you comfortless, alone in dreams of hell, but would release your minds from everything that hides His face from you. His holiness is yours because He is the ONLY power that is real in you. His strength is yours because He is the Self that God created as His ONLY Son.

*[Note: The bracketed sentence above was added to the 2nd Edition.]

Yes, I present myself to you with no illusions about what I am. And I present myself to you, knowing that you are like me, that we are, I’m going to say, identifiably family, that we can recognize ourselves in each other as families can.

And because I approach you without reinforcing mutually-agreed-upon definitions that you’ve been suffering from, my presence with you either as I am with you right now, or as I am speaking to you from the withinness of you, I am a dynamic, you might say, that not only doesn’t reinforce the mutually-agreed-upon definition, but also provides illumination of you as you really Are at an experiential level, whether you were expecting it or not. And this makes it easier for you to be curious in a direction other than the definitions you have been operating under. And it opens up your curiosity in a manner that allows inspiration and insight to more easily occur.

Experiential level?

Microphone.

Experiential level of What We Really Are?

Indeed.

Can you just maybe elaborate a little on that? I’m kind of having some experiences that I can relate to that.

I just want you to trust those experiences without confirmation. Part of Waking up is learning to invest trust in insights and illuminations that are occurring within you. Because in the investment of trust, you are joining … you are joining from a place in you that involves commitment to something other than the already existing definitions that have been governing you. And that is essential.

Confirmation is sometimes weakening because you might say, “Well, Jesus said such-and-such that… and so now I can just believe it without trusting it.”

Keep my concepts away from this experience. Don’t try to lay concepts over this experience I’m having. Just…

Absolutely.

… experience it. Exactly. I see.

Your concepts are all forms of the definitions you are familiar with.

Continue…

The images you make can NOT prevail against what God Himself would have you be. Be never fearful of temptation, then, but see it as it is; another chance to choose again, and let Christ’s strength prevail in every circumstance and every place you raised an image of yourself before.

Yes. Now…

… let Christ’s strength prevail…

You know what? That means yielding to the Christ’s will. It means yielding up your imaginary free will and yielding to the Christ… the Christ who is inserting nothing other than what God is being right there as the Christ, introducing nothing foreign to what God is being right there as the Christ, and therefore providing you with the opportunity to be inspired with an experience of yourself where nothing has been introduced but what God is being there.

So, this is why trust is required, because you don’t know what to do if you’re not exercising your will. And if you’re not practicing your will, and you are yielding to something beyond your present sense of yourself, this takes trust. And this is absolutely essential to Awakening, that you are willing to join with another, not in the process of formulating a new definition at odds with what God is being, but in terms of being in harmony with, not being at odds with, what Reality really is, with what God’s Perspective truly is.

Okay, continue…

For what appears to hide the face of Christ is powerless before His majesty, and disappears before His holy sight. The Saviors of the world, who see like Him, are merely those who choose His strength instead of their own weakness, seen apart from Him. They will redeem the world, for they are joined in all the power of the Will of God. And what they will is ONLY what He wills.

You see? How can you arrive at a point of willing only for what God wills if you haven’t abandoned what you call your right to express free will—a so-called God-given right? It’s a real sneaky part of the mutually-agreed-upon definitions that you govern yourself under… according to. Your right to free will is derived from God, you say. You are here to co-create with God in the sense of independently behaving in harmony with God, you see, without ever communing with God, without ever connecting with God, without ever yielding to God.

So, the experience you will have as you are consciously choosing to Wake up will be an experience of risk. It will seem that way to you because you have so greatly valued your free will and the idea that in expressing your free will you come into the fullest of your character and the fullest representation of you as an independent creation of God. And not to practice this free will is experienced as a great loss, and also a great risk, because there is no way to practice control. But this risk must be moved through with the same sort of confidence that you express when you ride through a scary funhouse. It is scary but you have trust that you will come out the other end unscathed.

So, in this sense it’s not easy because the mutually-agreed-upon definitions have caused you to value the very thing that keeps you from being sane, the very thing the keeps you from joining with those whose sanity will reflect yours back to you and heal you.

Okay. Next.

I have a question about… it’s quite clear to me about the will of the Father, the will of Christ, being the only will there is, the only true will that there is. And oftentimes, I can hear Guidance, and usually that comes almost without me asking sometimes. The question will barely be formed in my mind when the answer suddenly appears. And I know by the feeling of it what it is… whose will it is.

However, there are other times when, for lack of a better expression, I’m freaked out by something or emotional about something, and then all I can do is consciously say, “Father, what is Your will?” I’ve been able to—thanks to these sessions on Wednesday night of the Course—I’ve at least come to that juncture of being able to go, “I know I’m freaked out and I know I’m not getting the answer automatically,” so I’m saying, “Father, how do You see this?” And then I wait. And do I just wait? I mean stay… become immobilized and just… until something clears? Is that… is that the prescribed behavior here?

I must say that when that has happened, oftentimes, in 24 hours, things do … and an answer does come, but it’s not a snap. It’s not something that just [poof sound] appears. There is a delay here.

The delay is caused by the fact that you’re freaked out. You’re freaked out because circumstances have suggested to your conditioned thinking that you are in danger of some sort, or you are at a point of experiencing loss of some sort, and habit causes you to immediately do whatever it takes to take control. When you’re freaked out, you must know that you have become a control freak. You have shifted into an apparently justified call for control. And that willfulness blocks your being able to hear. At those times, persistence in hearing the Voice for truth is the only answer, whether it takes 24 hours, or whether it takes 3 minutes. But anything less won’t result in anything other than a rearrangement of the dream.

Yes. I’ve been there ruminating, “Oh, what about if I do this? What if I do that?” And it becomes obvious to me that you can’t solve the problem at that level.

Exactly.

Or you can’t face the challenge. There’s really no problem. It’s just the trial. So I’ve recognized that. And to date it’s not like, you know, there was a loss of anything by delaying. You know, the old expression, “Time is money,” or, you know, “Poop or get off the pot.” You know, that kind of thing. That has not presented itself strangely enough. It’s never been a life or death situation to have to make up my mind. There’s always time to let the air clear of my own concepts.

There’s always time to do that. The suggestion is that there isn’t time, and that’s why you panic.

Exactly. Yes. Yes. That there isn’t time because… and that’s… it’s a strange thing. There really is time, but it’s like oftentimes the time is evaporated by the feeling that I’ve been wronged, so it’s, you know, so it’s kind of like a knee-jerk reaction that makes the… makes it seem like, “Well, I’m justified in doing this.”

Yes.

And there, and of course, if I had jumped at the… at whatever it was that I had… the concept suggested, then it would have been a terrible situation. I mean, it would have been a big mistake.

It would have reinforced the dream.

Exactly. But, I mean even in consequences in the dream, it would have been … “Sorry.”

But you see, if you kick against Reality, which will not budge the harder you kick, the sorer your toe will be. The amount of willfulness you bring into play in the denial of God or the denial of Reality, the more uncomfortable the experience will be.

Yes.

But it’s because of the amount of willfulness you’re bringing into play, not the circumstance you are conditioned to think you’re kicking against.

Yes. I see.

Okay.

Learn, then, the happy habit of response to all temptation to perceive yourself as weak and miserable with these words…

“I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing. And I AM His Son.”

Thus is Christ’s strength invited to prevail, replacing all your weakness with the strength that comes from God, and that can never fail. And thus are miracles as natural as fear and agony appeared to be before the choice for holiness was made. For in that choice are false distinctions gone, illusory alternatives laid by, and nothing left to interfere with truth.

The choice for holiness… the choice for wholeness… the choice that no longer supports or nourishes or affirms or confirms separation, tininess, littleness. So, the answer is always, when you’re freaking out—and now you know that when you’re freaking out you have become a control freak—the answer to that lies not in the practice of control or the better practice of control, but of turning your attention to Me or God or the Holy Spirit, acknowledging what you have learned you Are, in other words, you are as God created you, and His Son can suffer nothing, and You are His Son, and invite in that which supports that fact in you at an experiential level. That’s the way you do it, by breaking the isolation.

Okay.

Just one more comment… and that is, having worked with people who are ill, who are in great pain, this would be a phenomenal proposal to them. In other words, to say to them that they are the Son and Daughter of God and can suffer nothing.

It would be unbelievable.

Exactly. Exactly.

Yes.

Exactly.

But are you going to keep your mouth closed and not express the unbelievable, so that they remain stuck in their belief because no one dared to provide an alternative point of view, especially one that is true, and therefore carries with it the weight of truth, you might say, that is capable of transforming.

Well I think I… what I’ve found was to… that to drop gentle hints. For instance, “Well I have this pain and this ailment, and my mother has it, and my father had it, and my brother had it, and therefore, I have it. And I will always have it.” Dih-dah-dih-dah. And I’ve come back and I’ve said, “Well, I’ve seen this before, and it can be overcome. I’ve seen it overcome. I’ve helped people overcome it. They have overcomed it. It can be overcome.” rather than state this. Because, initially, when I was learning the Course, I’ve stated this and seen people walk out the door. So I’ve chosen through experience to drop subtle hints. To say things in ways that get people questioning their own concepts.

Indeed.

As opposed to hitting them with a two-by-four.

Indeed. That is the way I work, as well.

[laughing] Yes, it is, isn’t it? [audience laughter] And thank you.

You ARE as God created you, and so is every living thing you look upon, regardless of the images you see.

Excuse me.

… regardless of the images you see…

… because you have chosen to look at mutually-agreed-upon definitions of things, rather than the things themselves.

Continue…

What you behold as sickness and as pain, as weakness and as suffering and loss, is but temptation to perceive yourself defenseless and in hell.

… right in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven!

Continue…

Yield not to this, and you will see all pain, in every form, wherever it occurs, but disappear as mists before the sun. A miracle has come to heal God’s Son, and close the door upon his dreams of weakness, opening the way to his salvation and release. Choose once again what you would have him be, remembering that every choice you make establishes your own identity as you will see it, and believe it IS.

From here on, I want you to read this to gather its meaning as words you would say, because if you stop and think about it, this section is classifying you as saviors of the world. You may have no difficulty in thinking of me as your savior, but the call is for you to treat each other as I treat you. And as we continue through the end here, you will find that it’s easy to relate these words to me, but what I am asking and what I am saying from here to the end of this section need to become what you say to each other. You see?

Choose once again what you would have him be…

… your Brother, because up ‘til now what you would have him be is what the two of you have mutually-agreed-upon that you are going to be to each other. So…

Choose once again what you would have him be, remembering that every choice you make establishes your own identity as you will see it, and believe it IS.

So, you see, I am teaching you who you Are, who you truly Are, because I’m not interested in introducing into the mix anything that is going to darken or mystify or alter in any way my experience of who I Am. And so I reflect you as God is being You to yourselves, because that is what insures my remaining Awake. And as you do this to each other, it is what insures your Waking up.

Now you will notice in the next paragraph it starts out:

Deny me not the little gift I ask…

Well, again, that makes sense if you attribute the statement to me. But, this must become your attitude when you are relating to each other so that you are coming from a place of clarity and love that implies and communicates to whoever you are speaking to:

Deny me not the little gift I ask, when in exchange I lay before your feet the peace of God…

Whether it’s a gentle prodding, like you were saying a moment ago, or whether it’s a bold statement that is God-infused, you might say.

Okay. Let’s continue with this paragraph—if you’ll start at the beginning of it.

Deny me not the little gift I ask, when in exchange I lay before your feet the peace of God, and power to bring this peace to everyone who wanders in the world uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear. For it is given you to join with him, and through the Christ in you unveil his eyes, and let him look upon the Christ in him.

You see? Obviously I am saying this to you to help improve your poor thought models about yourselves.

But you must turn around and love your brother enough—whether it’s George Bush or not—and extend this same invitation, this same confidence in what they Are. Not everyone will be as an extreme a case as George Bush, but he cannot be excluded, nor can anyone else whom you might have extremely strong negative feelings about.

You must realize that as long as you are thinking and conveying negative attitudes and opinions and definitions of someone else, or about someone else in the world, these are the very dynamics that you are introducing into your experience of yourself. And this blocks you absolutely from having any clearer experience of yourself than you’re willing to allow another to have from the beneficence of your love. You see?

It doesn’t mean that you don’t recognize when something is incompatible or that something that doesn’t embody intelligence or embody the love of being, but it means that you will go to God to find out what the truth is about the situation or the individual who is embodying unprincipled activities, rather than formulating your own new awful definitions about that person, which will end up defining you as well.

You see, [laughing] you will do and have what you believe. So be careful what you believe about George Bush, or whoever else is on your list. You must be willing to embrace at times what is unbelievable to you in order to get past the bondage involved in the already-existing mutually-agreed-upon definitions.

I have a question.

Microphone.

So we have this special person that we’re wanting to judge. Do you just put him out of your mind and let it be, you know, blank about him? Or I mean…

Is that love? How can you love something that isn’t there? How can you be involved with something you have put out of sight and out of mind?

So you got to go all the way with it, or you’re not doing anything?

No. You’re not only… you aren’t doing nothing, you are confirming and reaffirming the dream. You are reconfirming isolation, separation. There is something very active going on there. It is not a passive ignorance. It’s an active exclusion, isn’t it? It’s an active exclusion from actually engaging in loving that one, in one form or another.

So is that like…

And the key is…

… the best opportunities you got? I mean the people that you have or the situations that you find that you’re judging the most? Is that your best opportunity to change your mind?

Well, whether they’re the best opportunity or not, they are the ones, or your definitions about them are the ones that are blocking you from Waking up—from being savior to the world. You see?

It was just said…

For it is given you to join with him…

It’s given you! The capacity is yours! And it’s given you by my having acknowledged it out loud with you.

… it is given you to join with him, and through the Christ in you unveil his eyes, and let him look upon the Christ in him.

Well, that capacity is given you. It’s yours! If you are deciding not to use it, then you are confirming and further establishing your inability to see the Christ in him, and you are neglecting to be the presence that allows him the opportunity to see the Christ in him.

So if I’m seeing this thing as a special problem, that person or situation is not special…

It’s not a special problem. It’s a stupid problem.

Right. And it’s my…

To be sitting in the classroom thinking about what’s going to go on after school, and what problems might show up, or what you might encounter because you know how people are going to react, this is a stupid problem because it amounts to nothing more than not paying attention to what is going on. Do you see what I’m saying? In the classroom, what wonderful information might be being extended by the teacher or by involvement with the other students, all of this is being lost in favor of a stupid preoccupation with nothing!

Well, that’s kind of what I was thinking when I was thinking just sort of, you know, put this aside and don’t create a struggle.

But you talked about putting a brother aside!

Maybe I need to put the concept of my brother aside.

Oh, you think so?

Just… I mean not like I’m going sit here and necessarily try to see this person as the Christ.

Oh, but you’re going to be thinking something. You can’t just put a concept aside. You are incapable of having a void. So when you talk about setting the concept aside and not replacing it with an active conscious expression of love, or a conscious acknowledgement of what is true about that one, then you are, you might say, you are like Superman encasing that one in a lead box. You are imprisoning that one. There is an active ignorance of him, and that is hate.

Okay, so I’m going to need some help when these situations arise to be more clear on what I’m doing and what’s the right thing to think in this situation.

You will get the help if there is commitment on your part, if there is willingness to persist in the face of not being clear, a willingness to persist in not playing into your habitual way of thinking, and asking God, “What is the truth here? What is the truth here?” And persisting because you know that until you see the truth there, you are as locked into the dream as the one you are judging.

That’s what motivated me to ask the question, realizing that, and also understanding that I’m not really able to make that shift every time like I would like to.

Indeed. Practice, practice, practice.

Lots of opportunity to practice.

If you’re in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven calling it “the world,” then absolutely everything you are confronted with is opportunity for practice at desiring to see what everything truly Is.

Okay.

My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words.

Ken, could you hold it closer to your mouth?

Yes. I’ll repeat the sentence?

Yes.

My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words. I ask for nothing but your OWN release. There is no place for hell within a world whose loveliness can yet be so intense and so inclusive it is but a step from there to Heaven.

I’m going to interrupt here.

Keeping in mind that these are words you need to be saying, or the meaning of the words you need to be feeling when you’re engaging with your brother, it could sound like arrogance.

My brothers in salvation, do not…

This is you speaking.

My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words.

Now, what’s the point here? Is it that you’re now in a position to make demands on your brother, or is it to convey to you that your presence joined with the Christ is significant, meaningful and transformational? . . that you’re not a Casper Milquetoast… you’re not a wimpy weakling… you’re not a benign absence of threat, but you’re the actual Presence of that which transforms because you have let that which transforms in to you.

You are here to be a significant other to your brothers and sisters, not just an unchallenging, pleasant nitwit to live with. You see? You need to know that whether you’re thinking well of your brother or thinking poorly of your brother, you are having an effect. You do not exist in isolation. You cannot have a single thought by yourself. You are being meaningful for good or bad right now. So realize that you are of consequence right now.

And in your willingness to say, “Well, I’m not trying to change anybody and I’m not trying to make anybody be a certain way. I prescribe to ‘live and let live’ philosophy, and therefore nobody can come back at me and be mad at me.” Well, there’s no way for you to be an inconsequential, ineffective presence.

You are having impact. And you are either contributing to the ongoing establishment of the dream, or there’s only one other thing you can be, and that is that which helps to break down the mutually-agreed-upon definitions that make the Kingdom of Heaven look like “the world,” and contributing to the Awakening of everyone who’s suffering needlessly from these stupid mutually-agreed-upon definitions that deny Reality.

So, don’t think as you read this—these final paragraphs—that these express authority and power you will have over others. They’re to be reminders that you already have power, that at the moment you’re using mostly poorly. And in the realization that you have power, in other words, you are not able to exist without affecting your brother, make a conscious choice to express the power of the Presence of You on behalf of Reality, and on behalf of that which will Awaken your brother and therefore you as well.

Okay. Let’s start that paragraph over.

My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words. I ask for nothing but your OWN release. There is no place for hell within a world whose loveliness can yet be so intense and so inclusive it is but a step from there to Heaven. To your tired eyes I bring a vision of a different world, so new and clean and fresh you will forget the pain and sorrow that you saw before. Yet this a vision is which you must share with everyone you see, for otherwise you will behold it not.

A key point. What you’re unwilling to share with your brother, you will not see. And conversely, what you do see, you won’t be able to wait to share with your brother. You always share what you see.

So when I eventually Awake to the happy dream, then I will see What They Really Are?

Absolutely.

And the only thing I’ve been wanting to do…

But I want to point out to you that Awakening comes in, how can I put it? Awakening… revelation, you might say, comes in packages that aren’t any bigger than you can tolerate. Your willingness, your commitment to follow through on hearing what the Father’s will is, or the Father’s Perspective is, that commitment and that willingness to trust into what is unknown to you at the moment governs how big the package is that you will receive, even though the totality of being Awake is being given you at every moment and is your prior experience.

So, my point is that as you get each succeeding glimpse, you have something to share. So don’t think about the ultimate, “When I’m totally Awake, I will have something to share,” because you have things to share almost on a daily basis.

Continue…

Thank you, Raj.

To give this gift is how to make it yours. And God ordained, in loving kindness, that it BE for you.

Okay…

Let us be glad that we can walk the world, and find so many chances to perceive another situation where God’s gift can once again be recognized as ours! And thus will all the vestiges of hell, the secret “sins” and hidden hates be gone. And all the loveliness which they concealed appear like lawns of Heaven to our sight, to lift us high above the thorny roads we travelled on before the Christ appeared. Hear me, my brothers, hear and join with me. God has ordained I cannot call in vain, and in His certainty I rest content. For you WILL hear, and you WILL choose again. And in this choice is everyone made free.

Yes. Continue…

I thank You, Father, for these holy ones who are my brothers as they are Your Sons. My faith in them is Yours. I am as sure that they will come to me as You are sure of what they are, and will forever be. They will accept the gift I offer them, because You gave it me on their behalf. And as I would but do Your holy Will, so will they choose. And I give thanks for them. Salvation’s song will echo through the world with every choice they make. For we are one in purpose, and the end of hell is near.

You might think it wonderful to have such conviction. But if you think of it that way, it means that it is still unbelievable to you that you could have that conviction, that they will accept the gift you offer them.

But, you know, what we’re talking about is, first of all, inviting God, inviting the Holy Spirit, inviting Me, inviting your Guide, to disclose to you, to reveal to you in the withinness of yourself where it can be deeply felt, what the truth is. And when you do that and you see and feel the truth of it, you can approach your brother with that kind of confidence. Not confidence that you have some personal power to be his savior, but confidence that the simple unified truth that you are experiencing is so utterly true that it is true about your brother. And there is no question in your mind. And there is no question in your mind that he will receive it and recognize it because you did, and you will have no doubt that he has the capacity to receive it and experience it because you did—and before you did, you were one of the sorry bastards along with him. And that’s how come you know that if you could let it in and you are experiencing it, he will.

Continue…

In joyous welcome is my hand outstretched to every brother who would join with me in reaching past temptation, and who looks with fixed determination toward the light that shines beyond in perfect constancy.

Ahh. That’s another way of putting it besides commitment and persistence—fixed determination.

Continue.

Give me my own, for they belong to You. And can You fail in what is but Your Will? I give You thanks for what my brothers are. And as each one elects …

Ah…

I give You thanks for what my brothers are.

Not for what they are presenting themselves to be. Not what I have been conditioned to think they are.

I give You thanks for what my brothers are.

And you can give thanks when you can forgive, your brothers that you cannot like, enough benefit of the doubt that you can set aside your hatred for them, and talk to God about them, and truly want to know what the truth is about them. Your despising everything that they seem to stand for, and your enjoying the experience of despising him or her, constitutes your choice of what you want to give your attention to, and it absolutely keeps you from really being curious enough to ask God what’s the truth about them. Because if He would tell you what the truth about him is, you would have to give up this great satisfaction you are getting from hating him so well. You see? And so you do not receive the gift of the Father’s Perspective, and therefore you don’t have it available to embrace your brother with, and in embracing him, release yourself. You see?

Continue…

And as each one elects to join with me, the song of thanks from earth to Heaven grows from tiny scattered threads of melody to one inclusive chorus from a world redeemed from hell, and giving thanks to You.

And let’s stop there for a moment.

You might say in the beginning, it’s tiny scattered threads of melody. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to sing a hymn in church when there are only three other people in the church singing? But when the church is full, it is the easiest thing in the world to let your voice sing out.

So, when it seems to be only tiny scattered threads of melody, and it seems like your voice is standing out like a sore and unwelcome thumb, don’t let that discourage you. Because each of you who does it, because of the love with which it is done, and because of the purity with which it is done, is a transformational presence that reaches others and increases “the congregation.” And that’s how it can come to be “one inclusive chorus.” But you have to be willing to persist when there isn’t the support of a thousand other voices glorifying God in the most practical of ways. You see? That’s where the persistence and the steadfastness comes in.

Okay. Continue…

And now we say “Amen.” For Christ has come to dwell in the abode You set for Him before time was, in calm eternity. The journey closes, ending at the place where it began.

Now, there you go, the journey ends where it began, which is at Home. And if any of you still are not clear, you started out this… I’m going to call it an escapade from Home. You have all been Awake. You were initially and forever the direct Expression of God, the Christ fully, fully Awakened, until you chose to indulge in a daydream.

And so your journey Home is a journey back from where you left. And it’s very valuable to be aware of this because what you think you’re moving toward is not something you have to achieve. It’s something you have to let yourself back into. It’s a natural, eternal state of your Being. And what you’re doing is letting yourself back into it. It’s like the daydreamer in the schoolroom letting his attention come back to the schoolroom, a place he never left.

So, this is not unachievable. If you really totally gave up and collapsed every expression of willfulness that you might ever utilize and succumbed to never being willful again, you would immediately come back into your right Mind. It’s not an achievement. It’s a fundamental fact that never changed, that you will find you will fall into when you stop trying to hold yourself up as a separate, independent entity.

Continue…

No trace of it remains. Not one illusion is accorded faith, and not one spot of darkness still remains to hide the face of Christ from anyone.

I’m going to interrupt again.

Not one mutually-agreed-upon definition is accorded attention or faith and not one spot of darkness that was a result of those mutually-agreed-upon definitions still remains to hide the face of Christ from anyone.

Continue…

Thy Will be done.

Thy Will is done, complete and perfectly…

Which it was from the very beginning and never stopped being. His will is done, complete and perfectly.

… and all creation recognizes You, and knows You as the only Source it has. Clear in Your Likeness does the Light shine forth from everything that lives and moves in You. For we have reached where all of us are One, and we are home, where You would have us be.

I know this. And you are coming to know the meaning of these words, “on your behalf and your brother’s behalf.” I know these things, and I attend to you, I am present with you, absolutely clear about these things that I might convey to you an absolute clarity about them so that you can dare to risk the chance that there is a God, and that you can dare to risk the chance that if you let go of control, and so that you can dare to risk the chance that if you abandon your mutually-agreed-upon definitions, everything will not go to hell, but everything will be illuminated as Heaven.

And this is what… I am embracing you in the request to join with me in, by daring to embrace it for yourselves, daring to embrace my confidence in you for yourselves, so that the unbelievable becomes believable, and you can thereby do what I am doing for you for your brothers and sisters, so that you will dare to be involved, whether it seems easy or not, rather than stepping away from the awful opportunity your brother provides you with to witness for God on his behalf.

Now, I started with the last chapter so that you might have a context in which to appreciate the book from the beginning. And next week we will start with Chapter 1.

Thank you.

You are welcome.

May I ask a question? What would happen if everybody loved George Bush? [some audience amusement]

Miracles.

Don’t just limit it to him. You can include Saddam Hussein. You can include any other individuals it’s difficult to embrace.

What effect has the clear expression of the power of Love had in your lives when they have appeared from time to time? What effect has it had on you? Find those times and remember so that you recognize the power of the Gift of Love that you do have to give if you will refrain from energizing your right to free will and the capacity to enjoy delicious hate. You see? Don’t waste much time trying to figure out what would happen. Do it and find out. Do it and be surprised. Because whoever you release, releases you. And that’s the only way you get back Home. The first choice was to leave Home by virtue of two mutually-agreeing-upon definitions of things different from what the Father was being.

When you choose again, it’s something you choose with another. It constitutes a joining with another for the purpose of expressing Love, rather than the unlovely and unloving characteristics of meanings given to the Creations of God that are at odds with what God created, and therefore are at odds with God.

Does that answer your question?

Fully.

Very well. We will call it a night.

Thank you.

You are welcome.

  1. ACIM 2nd Edition: T31.VIII Choose Once Again ↩︎

  2. Students – commenting or asking a question. ↩︎

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