Feb 20, 2003
T2.VII Cause and Effect

Good evening and again welcome to everyone who has joined with us on the Internet. Okay. Will you read the first sentence only.

It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear because you yourself made it, and your belief in it seems to render it out of your control.1

Okay. I’m going to suggest that when you’re reading the Course, you not treat these words as though they are a topic of consideration. So when we’re talking about fear, we’re not talking about a generic fear. We’re talking about an inner dynamic that every single one of you experiences. If you will keep this in mind, it will make the words you’re reading more relevant. We’re not just talking about fear generally speaking.

Now, at the bottom line fear, as I’ve said before, is the uneasiness that you inevitably and unavoidably feel when you have decided to determine what everything means for yourself, by yourself. Which means that you have in effect separated yourself from the Father. You’ve separated yourself from the ground of your Being, and the effect is ungroundedness. Instead of recognizing that the uneasiness that you’re feeling is the result of an attempt to look at everything by yourself and knowing immediately that the answer to the uneasiness is to abandon the declaration of independence that you have asserted, you make the assumption that your uneasiness is caused by everything you’re seeing, by your environment, by circumstances, by those in your experience. And it seems then that your task is to make peace with all of these objects and things that are foreign to you.

Now, the mistake you make is in assuming that peace will be the result of agreements, that peace will be the result of mutually-agreed-upon definitions, that peace will be the result of cooperation between separate and different parts and in the process of forming definitions which will be mutually-agreed-upon, and thereby seem to provide the appearance of peace and the apparent lack of need for fear. You all end up feeling each other out in order to find the place where there’s the least amount of resistance, the least amount of dissonance.

And so, your mutually-agreed-upon definition ends up not reflecting the integrity, the innate integrity of each member of the group, but rather the laziest, least strenuous …

(PAUL: Just a moment.)

… elements that are characteristic of the group as a whole. In other words, it’s the way the group arrives at consensus while no member of the group declares himself or herself, and every member of the group stays in the safe zone without any need for commitment to anything definite.

Mutually-agreed-upon definitions are by definition indefinite. Again, mutually-agreed-upon definitions are indefinite by definition. They represent the lowest common denominator of the group, because that’s what you get when you don’t step on each other’s egos. I’ll tell you something. Wars are the result of the attempt of the group to squelch anyone who begins to be definite and introduce a call for definiteness.

So, now anyone who might have an insight or a recognition of the value of not being uncommitted, of not being indefinite, who speaks up and makes waves, disturbs the status quo. That one is attacked. That one is immediately met with all form of arguments which have as their goal to cause this one to settle down and abandon any call for definiteness and to come back into what I have called a false sense of peace.

And so everyone in the group watches this and realizes that there is something to fear. And the something to fear is being the oddball. The something to fear is standing out in the group. Does that make sense to everyone? Okay.

Now what I want you to realize is that the effort of the group to squelch any original or focused idea …

(PAUL: I’m sorry. I’m going … just a moment.)

… what I want you to see most clearly is that as everyone observes this happen and learns to keep still, they are operating under a system of terrorism. You are hearing a lot about terrorism and you tend still to think of it as a generic term; something to think about. And you need to feel inside yourself what terrorism means. Well, many of you would say you’ve never been in a circumstance where you’re terrorized. But I want you to consider what we’ve talked about in that last two or three weeks and what you have felt when I have talked about casting your vote, not being uninvolved, not being uncommitted.

I have been calling you out of this stupid safe zone that you all thought you have had available to you. I have called upon you to go within, turn toward the Altar, ask to Know the Truth, to let yourself be filled with it so that you might Experience Knowing What The Truth Is at an experiential level so that you might be able to cast your vote and act, act not think, but act on what you know, to embody it in the world. In other words, to make it visible.

Any of you who have given any thought, any consideration to what I’ve said, have found yourself feeling more vulnerable by virtue of casting a vote and for your vote not to be some secret you are holding in a holy atmosphere, h-o-l-y, a holy atmosphere in your mind. If you’re going to act, if you are going to embody in the world the Truth that you Know, it’s going to be visible. It’s going to be noticeable. Your vote will have been cast and it will be public.

And when you get down to the point of realizing that this is what Atonement is about, I know that every single one of you have experienced some fear around doing that. Because you will what? Stick out like a sore thumb.

The tendency is to think that when I say “cast your vote,” I am asking you to be for or against something. To be for or against something, you’ve got to have your back to the Altar. And your for-or-against definitions have to relate to everything you see without the Father’s Perspective available to you.

There’s a third alternative. You can either be for or against something, or you can be with God, with the Father. Now we’re not talking about for or against. And when you’re standing with the Father, everything you be will never be able to be successfully defined as attack, even though those with their backs still to their Altars will see your definiteness as a judgment upon them.

Awakening is fulfilling and satisfying, but it’s not fun. The reason it’s not fun is because you’re approaching being Sane from an insane perspective, and you are therefore unable to truly judge the divine dynamics of your Sanity. Truly you’re not able to judge them truly. And so you automatically think you’re being asked to be for or against something, when it’s all about being with God in Unity.

In the realm of mutually-agreed-upon definitions, the majority rules. But one with God is a majority. And that majority makes, and this is not a play on words, makes all the difference in the world. And your world will change because you have come into a place of alignment within yourself relative to God, and this experience does not include within itself fear or vulnerability.

The reason I said, “this is not fun,” is because it requires you to make commitment to something other than the lowest common denominator of the group. And the group has been your god. And you’re not used to being in a way other than honoring the god called group consensus. You have to arrive at a point of being willing to make commitment to Truth, commitment to Love. A Truth and a Love that at the moment you don’t comprehend the Real Meaning of. And so you have to lean into what is for you the unknown. You have to lean into what for you is a void, and become defenseless so that you might be infilled with insight and revelation. So that you actually change and stop operating on the old basis of mutually-agreed-upon definitions, meaning the group consensus.

You’re afraid to cast your vote because you think that casting your vote means being for or against something. And what I want to register with you tonight is that being willing to cast your vote, as I’m speaking of it, means being willing to stand with the Father, In Whom All Creation Exists.

It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear. Why? Because you yourself made it and your belief in it seems to render it out of your control. See, your belief in it. The attributes, the definitions, the meanings you have given it, cause it to seem to be out of your control.

Continue …

May I ask a … 2

Not yet.

Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love. In the interim, however, the sense of conflict is inevitable, …

… you see? It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be fun.

Continue …

… since you have placed yourself in a position where you believe in the power of what does not exist.

Exactly.

I’m gonna bring this to a personal level. I’m having fun. Does that mean that I’m in a doldrum of stupid rest, or have I reached some sense of what the “happy dream” is?

Let me ask this: Is the “happy dream” a private dream?

No, I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s a private dream. I think it’s the way you see the world and so what you’re doing is you’re seeing everything in the world being in perfect accord with God’s Plan.

And are you seeing a suffering world?

I’m seeing confusion, but I’m seeing progress. And I don’t see suffering in my world, in what I’m seeing. I mean, I see it, I read about it in the newspapers, but in my experience I’m not experiencing seeing suffering. I’m seeing people doing the best they can and moving forward in God’s Plan. I lose it once in a while.

Either you are creating a cocoon for yourself that you are unwilling to look outside of, or you are giving benign definitions to suffering that calls for correction. You read about it in the newspaper or on the news. Is that not going on in your world?

To be perfectly honest, I think there’s great exaggeration. And I think that in the press, that’s the way they sell newspapers. So, for instance,…

You think there are no people starving?

Oh, absolutely. I do.

Is that not suffering?

That is. That is.

Does that not call for correction?

Yes, it does.

Does that not call for involvement?

Yes, it does. So this “happy dream” that the Course talks about can never be achieved until everyone is in the “happy dream.” Is that correct?

The happy dream is children not starving. The happy dream is harmony between countries, between governments, between people. The happy dream is a world that someone from another planet could discover and recognize that there is Intelligence governing. That Love, the Meaning of Love has been discovered and embodied.

It will not look like a world where injury and hurt and starvation and suffering of all kinds is going on but everyone is walking around with a smile on their face experiencing this intangible something that they’re calling the happy dream. The happy dream is going to look like a world in harmony where no form of suffering is even seeming to occur.

How did you wake up? Did you see the happy dream? Do you see what I’m getting at here? I understood that what happens is you enter the happy dream and then you exist in the happy dream until God’s Plan, okay, causes you to wake up, to become enlightened. So as long as there’s any suffering in the world, you can’t be in the happy dream, therefore no one can wake up. You see the conundrum that I’m getting here. So therefore no one has ever awakened because as long as one of the Brotherhood is suffering, then no one can awaken. That’s what I’m hearing. And that’s my problem.

Until everyone is awake, the Brotherhood as a whole is not totally awake, and in that sense, I am not totally awake because there are those of my Brothers and Sisters who are insisting on their dreams.

So you’re not having any fun either.

I will tell you that once you begin to recognize the Divine Character and Nature of embodying God in acts in your world, whether such intent and action is easy for you or not because of your prior state of mind, your separated state of mind, you begin to enjoy casting your vote and you begin to feel the joy of the Brotherhood that is awake as they rejoice in every act of embodying the Father’s Will that every single one of you engages in, no matter how tiny it is.

When I say it’s not fun, I am saying it so that you will understand that the fear you feel when you dare to cast your vote is an integral part of shifting out of the mutually-agreed-upon definitions, out of the group consensus, and that that is not justification from refraining from casting your vote.

But don’t you reach a point somewhere along the line where you just don’t care? You don’t care if it rocks the boat. You don’t care if it … you just want to do the right thing, so to speak, and cast the vote and say this is what I stand for and the chips fall where they may. And it becomes less of a fearful thing through the practice.

That is correct.

Okay.

But, mind you, the happy dream is not going to be an inner bliss that you experience through giving some ethereal definition to the suffering that is going on so that you somehow arrive at the insane idea that the suffering that’s going on isn’t really suffering but some part of the development and refinement of the souls who appear to be suffering that is absolutely essential to their waking up and therefore is fulfilling God’s purpose and it doesn’t need to be addressed. It doesn’t call for correction. It doesn’t call for you or you or anyone else to somehow get food into their mouth, or somehow hug that little girl or that little boy, dirty little girl and dirty little boy living in a hovel who has tears streaming down his or her face and comforting him or comforting her, and embodying Love and embodying the elements of the happy dream so that the situation can be transformed because Truth and Love has been illuminated to them by your actions. And as their tears are wiped away and as there are fewer and fewer occasions for them to have tears, the happy dream is coming into view. But the happy dream is not private and isn’t something you can engage in all by yourself. Does that answer your question?

Well, I was having a lot more fun before you answered my question, I’ll tell ya that. See there’s a thing about … that I’m feeling is that I’m feeling like I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and I feel guided to do that.

You are and you’re here and you’re hearing me say what I’m saying.

Right, but then there’s another thing, for instance, is that where I think that what you focus on expands and so if I’m spending my time, okay, thinking about all the people that are starving and suffering in the world and how I should be out helping them.

Okay, remember though, we’re not talking about generic suffering, all the people in the world who are suffering. You see suffering and there is suffering going on in your immediate vicinity.

Right.

And you can find those places where you can embody God. You see?

It’s like saying, “Love the world.” Well, that’s incomprehensible to me. But I can love the guy standing in front of me who’s wasting everyone’s time in line because he fumbling around or not organized or whatever, and I can say I’m not gonna, you know, become irate about this. I going to, you know, “Father, you know, help me see this in another way,” or you know. Or smile at somebody and say hello when you know they’re down.

Absolutely.

What’s on your plate in front of you.

That is correct.

So, but when you see transformation occur, that’s a heart lifting thing to see that.

Yes.

And so that makes me happy.

Yes.

So I relish it.

Yes.

And so …

And it should inspire you to enlarge your circle so that you are thinking about the starving children in Africa or …

We can have some fun, right? I’m not being cocky here or anything. But what I’m getting at is taking things too seriously really gets depressing. Do you see what I’m getting at? And can really … it’s difficult to be in that state of mind and impart a hugging, loving attitude towards the next person who needs a little goose.

But this is where it’s needed. This is where the call is. What can I say? It’s time to sober up. It’s time to abandon the value of giddy fun, irrelevant fun. It’s time to find a way to engage with each other in a way that is truly helpful and truly transforms, and in the process of doing that, being provided with the experience of your true Function which will bring you joy, not fun. And joy is far deeper and far more infinite than fun.

Well, I’ve certainly had enough so I’ll pass the mic. I’m gonna let it settle.

You said one word that caught my ear. You said when one stands out, war, if I understood you correctly of course, you said war starts when an individual deviates from the agreed-upon definitions. And you went on to say it is the seeing it as God would have us see it, see it with God as one, which not necessarily says “Yes” or “No.” In today’s world …

No, no, no. Let’s remain clear as we move along. It will necessarily mean saying a “Yes” or a “No” but not as for or against. The “Yes” or “No” when it arises out of your union with God …

That would be a “Yes.”

That will be a “Yes” or it will be a “No,” but it will not be a “Yes” for or against some group, and it will not be a “No” for or against a group. In other words, the “Yes” or the “No” will not be part of a conflict. It will be a simple acknowledgment of fact like, “No, two plus two is not five. Yes, two plus two is four.”

Okay. But if the question of the individual who’s causing the war says, “I have independence. I will do what I want with my world and the rest of the world can take a flying leap.” So now we have a group, we have an individual who sees it another way by defined definition that the world should be at peace, and that’s gonna cause a war. Or at least we’re told by someone else in the group that says, “I see it differently and therefore I’m going to war.”

Yes.

And then you compound that by war is justified when people are being harmed. I’m confused.

When I am speaking of casting your vote, I am not speaking of asserting a “Yes” or a “No” from an unjoined place. The group consensus is a given element of the unjoined place. Therefore, everything that goes on is a tension that shifts according to the majority consensus of the group. When someone stands up with an original idea or with a new definition that he wants to introduce for agreement, that one is immediately met with resistance and that’s where wars get started. When an individual who has been part of a group consensus decides to give his attention to the Altar once again, to connect with the Father, desiring to be filled with Truth and what Love is so that he might embody it, that one introduces a new idea not from an unjoined place. And that one’s introduction of the idea will not arouse great resistance because it will be done with Love, and it will be done in language that can be understood by those involved in group consensus so that shift of perception can occur without arousing the ire of the egos that had been governing the group consensus. Does that clarify things for you?

No. Would it be too outrageous to ask for us to take some examples and say this is an example of and this is not an example of? For example, could we take the U.N. as a group? Could we take the Iraq situation and identify the perspective of this what you’re describing, and then take the U.S. position and then take the French position which is all different. And where in this real-life circumstance are we seeing the examples that you’re illustrating and we’re trying to get through? Maybe that is not a way to approach it, but it’s an idea.

I will tell you that you’re not seeing examples of what I’m talking about.

Maybe you could tell us why then, because that’s what we’re being asked to do today is to either, you know, support our country and the dominance …

Who is asking that of you?

Our government.

Okay.

Okay.

I’m not.

I agree, but that seems when you said war, that’s what got me thinking about …

I understand.

Wrongly but thinking.

I am addressing in this fashion a very small part of the population of your planet, and every single one of you is to one degree or another part of, a member, you might say, of a group that lives by mutually-agreed-upon definitions. And one of the mutually-agreed-upon definitions that you live by is that you are the result of a physical event when a sperm and an egg joined and that you are one of the creatures on this planet that is the result of a big bang, a purely physical event. And you don’t know, significantly know that this is a definition and not the Truth, and that you are in fact the very Presence of God embodied and that the Father’s Perspective is your natural inheritance that you could never lose. And so what am I doing? I am continually nudging and finessing you into considering things differently, and finding ways to do it that cause you to be curious enough to let something new in and perhaps become preoccupied with a whole new range of ideas, thoughts, perspectives, that will pave the way for future growth to happen even more easily and more spontaneously.

I am in every word I say speaking to egos in a way that does not reinforce your egohood, and so I don’t appear to be a threat. I don’t appear to be against you. And yet I’m absolutely saying, “No, I will not join you in reinforcing your ego sense of self.”

So you have an example of what I’m talking about. It’s just that I am speaking to the Divine One That You Are in such a way that it does not arouse the ire of the ego that you think you are and thus defeat my purpose, which is to uncover your real purpose to you so that you might come back into your Right Mind. You see, I can even say that without getting your ego to say, “What! I’m not in my right mind? Who the hell are you? You arrogant so-and-so!” [audience laughter] My reason, my motive, where I’m coming from, which is my union with the Father, causes me to be able to say things that promote change without frightening, without frightening you. And so, when you turn toward the Altar and join with the Father, you will find yourself able to be in a way with your Brothers and Sisters, the group with the mutually-agreed-upon definitions, in a way that will not appear to be threatening, and will spawn or inspire curiosity about things that it had been defended against in the past.

Now, there are no private thoughts. Another phrase to think about. No, there are no private thoughts. As a matter of fact there simply are no private thoughts.

And so, as each one of you turns toward the Altar and listens first so that what comes forth through you embodies not only the transformational Truth, but the nurturing Love that allows for the ideas to be heard without instilling fear, that is what I’m talking about when I say “cast your vote.” You see, I’m not casting my vote against you stupid egos. [audience laughter] Your egohood isn’t my concern. Doing something about it is not my concern. There is no such egohood so I’m not going to attack it. But I’m also not going to use my words in a way that reinforce a sense of egohood. They are well-chosen so as to cause you to be interested in something different from reinforcing your egos, and finding some, to you, intelligent and constructive reason for doing it so that you have more interest in doing that then reinforcing your egos.

In the beginning if I spoke about Paul, he became self-conscious. Now I can talk about Paul and he doesn’t become self-conscious. Now I can talk to you about your not being an ego without engaging the ego that you think you are. So you have come a ways, you see.

Now because there are no private thoughts, as you join with the Father and as you are willing to do what Paul is doing right now, embodying the Father, you will find that not only your immediate acts in your immediate neighborhood will trigger transformation. Your willingness to make commitment to not being divided within yourself, your willingness to not claim a right to have your own private beneficent thoughts constitutes a joining, a union with the Father that makes what appears to be your specific contribution more than the contribution could possibly be if it really was just your tiny contribution. And it becomes the leaven that leavens the whole lump; the little bit that has a broad transformational effect in the world. Why? Not because of what you have decided, not because of how focused you can be in presenting the idea, but because you’re not conflicted within yourself.

When you are not conflicted within yourself, it means that you have abandoned your so-called right to act independently. And in the absence of the introduction of the static of claiming a mind of your own and rights of your own, you are able to experience yourself as What God Is Being right where you are. The Holy Self That You Are becomes your Experience. Not with halos around your head and not with choirs of angels singing, but with simple Purity of Singleness of Purpose. Purpose set in motion by the Father that you’re willing to embody without embellishing and without feeling that you’ve been deprived of something essential by not being able to add your own little bias to it, or even having a totally different contribution to give. You see? It has power to change the dream, to improve the dream so that it becomes the happy dream because of the Purity, the Singleness of what you’re willing to allow yourself to be because you’re yielding to God. Does that answer your question?

Much clearer. When I feel your words about me individually and my relationship to God, it makes sense. When I get myself into a group and we’re talking about war, and it just becomes, you know, it’s not applicable. It is applicable but it has to start from here.

That’s right.

And I felt your last suggestion was great. Thank you.

You are welcome.

Let’s go to Robbie first.

When I was trying to understand this, took a long time to understand it, but you’ve been talking about this since right after September eleventh. And how I’ve been able to understand it is I get flooded with all of these other pictures of the same situation but on a smaller scale and closer. And when there’s an integrity to it, it will run through every single one of those examples and it’ll fit in every single example because it’s universal. I’m not able to really say it very well, but it should fit every single circumstance. And it does and that’s how you can tell that you’ve got it, you’ve honed in on it.

Exactly.

Is that right?

That is correct.

Okay.

Mark.

You’ve told me more than once I’m not a sperm and an egg. Is DNA part of the mutually-agreed-upon definitions?

No.

It’s the way things work?

No. Nothing that you see is the way things work. The way things work, and things working because God Is Being Creation, look like that. It’s going to look like something. And no matter how great the magnification of the microscope with which you look at the Visibility and Tangibility of God, you’re going to find order and it’s going to look like something. But what it looks like isn’t what makes it work like it works. God working, God being the Movement of Creation looks like something. And it’s because of What God Is Being that it looks like it looks.

And part of the problem everyone is having in your scientific community is that you are looking at it as though you’re trying to arrive at God but they would say the ultimate meaning of what they’re studying. They are trying to arrive at the ultimate meaning by studying what they have defined to be matter, and so they’re all studying their mutually-agreed-upon definition which is that this is some result of a big bang, a physical event that had nothing to do with God. If they would look at it as though they were seeing the Visibility and Tangibility of God, Mind, they would begin to discover radically new things.

There are mutually-agreed-upon definitions about DNA.

Indeed.

But DNA …

One of which is that it’s matter …

Right. Right.

… instead of Spirit. That it identifies some self-existent substance rather the Look Of What God Is Being.

DNA is Love.

All Substance is Love.

Right. Yeah. One thing I did notice …

All Substance is Spirit.

… you said the suffering wasn’t some generic suffering. That it was specific to your experience, what’s on your plate. That’s the words you used. And we all here listening and I just want to help everybody remember that the Foundation is suffering …

… because that seems to be on my plate.

You know what? Suffering is need unmet. Very simply. So look where there is need and find a way to meet it. Not through your best judgments. Not through your best definitions. Not through any separated vantage point. But by recognizing the need and saying, “God, what’s the Truth here? God, what do I need to see not about this illusion, but what do I need to see about the Reality that this illusion is about? And what do I need to know and feel in order to address the need so that the need disappears and is replaced by need met?” Which means no need.

Should I read?

Good evening, Raj.

Good evening.

As I’m sitting here listening to what you’re saying about groups within groups within groups and we’re all immersed in definitions and how are we to be in this sea of definitions, which I see, which I’m beginning to, that it occurred to me that it’s just reverberating reactions, constantly reverberating reactions to everything. That if we are joined with the Father we are embodying Meaning, so we’re coming into any situation with the Embodiment of Meaning which is the answer.

Yes.

And so whatever we’re looking at or whatever’s coming across our field of vision, we see the answer.

And.

In other words, we don’t make decisions anymore.

That is correct.

Because the answer, we see what the answer is or the need in the moment for that particular moment because we’re joined.

If you embody it, you are the answer.

Right, but what I’m trying to say here is we’re in a state of observation, not in a state of reaction.

Observation can be from a distance. It is better to say that you are in a state of awareness, of alert consciousness from which it is easy for you to act with utter appropriateness in ways that allow for shifting to occur without increasing fear on the part of the one doing the shifting. So you see, one can observe without being involved, and so I do not want that word “observation” to be employed very often.

What I’m trying to say is if you have a blank mind, meaning you don’t have a lot of definitions and judgments, you’re trying to be in wherever you are without any definitions. You’re looking, you’re trying to look with clear eyes, you know. [laughing]

That’s right.

Yeah. You’re trying to just see what is really going on here. I mean…

You’re saying, “Father, show me what is really going on.”

Show me what is going on. But you’ve made your, and I don’t know if this is the correct word “private,” but when you go within, your connection, and then you’re moving from then on in a continuous state of asking because you’re feeling your way through the situation. Not trying to think.

That is correct.

Or join with the definitions. So everything, you’re not connected by definition anymore.

That is correct. You are not connected by definitions. Correct.

So just that being, that state of being, everyone feels the disconnect of you from that, which is what I think you were saying “when you stand out.”

Others will feel your disconnect but at the same time they will feel your connection with the answer. They will feel your connection with capital “M” Meaning. And you will be involved and extending the gift that peaks their curiosity and doesn’t threaten them.

This takes a lot of practice anyway, ‘cause I’m at …

It does. And practice comes from involvement.

Involvement. In other words, I know I blow it on a lot. But I’m repeating and I’m not running away from it now so that I’ll get the feel of it more and more and I become more sensitive to what is needed.

Yes.

I mean you gotta start somewhere even if it’s in judgment. At least you will get the feedback so that you can refine and refine and refine.

That is correct.

I think I see what you’re saying. Thanks.

You are welcome.

Okay, I’d like to take this back to the Course directly and see if I can make it apply to the generic suffering, or specifically some of what you mentioned that seems to be out of my pervue, such as starving in Africa, or AIDS in Africa, or starving in Korea, or the pending war in Iraq versus the tyranny in Iraq. And do it in a way that doesn’t put me in Michael’s pseudo-happy-dream that isn’t shared by every citizen of the planet. [audience laughing]

We love you, Michael.

I love you, Michael. [laughing]

And in the Course there seems to be a contradiction or a very difficult point that you highlighted there and that. And I thought of immediately two lessons in the Workbook. One of which, Lesson 38, “There is nothing my holiness cannot do.” And conversely when you talked about choosing to turn towards the Altar rather than being for or against, my thought was to the Lesson that said, “God did not create that plane crash so it cannot be real.” God did not create that famine so it cannot be real. God did not create that war and so it can’t be real. God did not create that tyranny and so it cannot be real.

Which seems to be the place Michael was coming from. And that is a Lesson in the Course, but I’m sure somehow it ties into also, “There is nothing my holiness cannot do,” and there is a merger of the two between action and belief.

Absolutely. And there better be the merger.

Now, what I’ve shared tonight needs not to be used as a way of moving into a safe zone where you’re having a much clearer picture of how it works and therefore you can go home this week and mull over what I’ve said and enjoy it like a tasty morsel that you roll around on your mental tongue. And maybe for the next seven days you don’t have to pay attention to what you’re seeing in the newspaper or what you’re seeing on the TV and having a vote to cast about it. I didn’t say having an opinion about it. But caring enough to ask within until you are infilled with a clarity so that you know what your vote is.

And then especially if it’s not a vote that you like, daring to commit to it anyway and doing the hard work of having to act in harmony with God’s Will, whether you like it or not. That’s what’s hard. You’ve got to get your hands dirty and you’ve got to deal with things that you don’t like because there are things that are wrong going on that need to be corrected.

And you know what? I’m going to leave you tonight with something to consider. Judgment is called for in your process of yielding to the Father, in your process of waking up. There’s a great tendency to look at things that are going on and say, like I’ve said before, “it’s an illusion,” or “that’s just their perception,” and never arrive at a point of saying, “This works and this doesn’t. This reflects God and this doesn’t.”

You have to make a distinction between the tares and the wheat and you have to cast your vote. You have to learn to recognize What Is Real and what is unreal, and commit to What Is Real and withdraw your commitment from what is not. And you can’t stay in a safe noncommittal place where you’re saying, “that’s just your opinion,” or “that’s just your perception,” or “that’s just their perception, it’s not real anyway,” and refrain from making the distinction between What Is True and what is not, and committing to What Is and withdrawing your commitment from what is not.

Again, we’re talking about becoming involved. Not talking about having an opinion. You’re going to have to ask the Father, “Is this Real or not?” You’re going to have to make distinctions or you are forever going to be stuck in the mutually-agreed-upon definitions.

Your mutually-agreed-upon definitions are not true. And until you are willing to look at them squarely to find out whether they are or not, so that you can see that they are not, you won’t know how to make the correction. And if you don’t make the correction, it goes on uncorrected and you’re still in the dream.

One way or another you’re going to get off the fence, and I am not going to let you forget that that’s what you’re here for. And it means involvement. It means caring enough to discern What Is True and what is not so that you can withdraw your investment of energy and attention from what is not true. Because until you invest your energy in What Is True, you will not be embodying God and you will not get to a happy dream.

If we ever get to the next section [audience laughter], you will see that it’s called “The Meaning of the Last Judgment.”

So, hey people, it’s time to discover how good the meat and potatoes of the Course are. But you’re going to have to chew in order to digest it. You’re going to have to put forth the effort, and stop wishing for parfaits and pudding and nice soft sweet stuff. You see? Okay.

Now Michael, this can be fun. It can be, but it won’t be. [audience laughter]

Is that just for Michael? [audience laughter]

I have selected Michael to be the only one. [audience laughter] No, this applies to everyone. See, I use meat and potatoes and I know there are many who savor and thoroughly delight in a good meat and potatoes meal, even though it’s more difficult to digest than pudding and parfaits and ice cream. And I’m saying that the effort needed to be put forth in order to be involved, in order to not be on the fence, in order to embody, to act out into manifestation the clearer manifestation of God, is as satisfying as meat and potatoes is. But, if you’re delicate and you think spirituality is about delicate but beautiful things, you know, floating around in pinkness and lavender, meat and potatoes is not going to sound desirable to you. I’m telling you that the meat and potatoes of waking up is satisfying. The work, the effort you have to put forth to care enough for your Brother and Sister to become involved, to get off the fence and act in ways that change the world, so that any video camera scanning the scene will see Harmony and Peace and Beauty and Love expressed, is worth it, is satisfying.

So sit with that for a week soberly, groundedly. And don’t let fun be a distraction from the joy that will become available to you when you care enough to make the Gift of Love. Okay.

We did get through one paragraph, but you all moved through and out of a lot of muck that had been weighing you down.

I love you all.

Okay.

  1. T2.VII Cause and Effect ↩︎

  2. Students commenting or asking a question. ↩︎

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