Nov 23, 2003
T5.8 The Eternal Fixation
Good afternoon. And welcome to everyone who is joining us on the Internet.
I would like a show of hands. Have any of you ever found studying or reading the Course depressing?
Frustrating, kind of.1
Frustrating is a distress. Well, let me say this right now. That isn’t supposed to be, that isn’t intended to be the result. But it is understandable that that reaction occurs because as you read, it appears that you are being taught that you are all insane to one degree or another. And the nature of your insanity is picked apart piece by piece and illuminated to you. And what I want to address right now is that to have mistakes that you’re making uncovered to you is not a process by which you become convicted of wrongdoing, although the ego will use it that way.
The mutually-agreed-upon definitions that you have evolved, and the agreement that you have amongst each other is all called into question by the Course. The reason being that these agreements have been arrived at on a false basis. And if no one tells you this, you’re stuck. If someone tells you this, it doesn’t mean you’re convicted. It means that you have the information necessary in order to do something different, in order to get unstuck. And so, the purpose of the Course is to inspire you, not convict you and depress you.
I notice however, and I’m not addressing this specifically to those of you in this room, but I notice, however, that many students of the Course pick up on the apparent fault-finding that seems to be part of the Course and they go on internal witch hunts within themselves, and they go on external witch hunts exploring the faults of others, uncovering the faults of others. And they call this love, because they think this is what the Course is about.
We’ve been going through the Course for over a year now, and I think that if you will look back, you will find that I have been pointing your eyes and your attention in the direction of acknowledging God where you haven’t been looking for God—right in the petals of the flower, in the glass on the table, the trees outside, and each other.
I have been doing everything I can to inspire curiosity and openness of mind, that which does not call into play self-defense, because it has your attention turned toward something other than yourself, other than your current sense of yourself.
Oh, in the last two weeks we’ve talked about the non-materiality of matter, the fact that everything that you see and can touch is pure Spirit and is Idea rather than a physical object, that the Energy of Spirit that constitutes your body is not a physical energy, it is pure Idea.
Now, how many of you have become curious about the capability that you each have to move this idea from one place to another instantaneously, because there is no mass of matter to have to move by means of laws of physics? In other words, teleportation, or even levitation, or walking through a wall.
And of course, we have ongoingly talked about the fact that healing can be instantaneous because there is no physical mass of matter that has to reconfigure while being obedient to the laws of matter, or what you could call the laws of physics. And so how many of you have been being curious enough to explore the healing of a mole or a wrinkle or a disease that you seem to have? And to persist with it.
You see, the point is to be inspired, to not become obsessed with the way things appear to you. The presence of a mole that is not attractive does not express the beauty and symmetry of your perfect body. The desire to see God right there where your body is, where this Idea is that is perfectly visible and tangible to mind without having any material accompaniments to it at all.
I promise you that as you begin to be curious to see beyond the definitions you’ve currently given everything, you will find the intent raising objections in you. In other words, whatever resistances you have to healing or levitating or teleporting will present themselves to you, and then you can address them. You don’t have to go on a witch hunt to find all your flaws before you can turn toward God.
The point is to turn toward God first. And then, whatever openness you have to seeing more of the Presence of God where you are will, in itself, uncover to you the reasons you don’t think it can happen.
You will find yourself saying, “Mmm. Well, let’s say that I actually succeeded in teleporting to the base of the Eiffel Tower. I might be so excited by the experience that I couldn’t possibly have enough peace to get back. And what would I do then in France without a passport?” You see?
You will find resistances presenting themselves to you. And those are the ones for you to release, those are the ones for you to ask the Father or your Guide, “How do I look at this? Reinterpret this for me, so that I may either see the Truth of it, or the lie of it, and let it go.” In other words, start pushing the boundaries. Start pushing your boundaries. Start letting your mind move outside the box, instead of being obsessed with the current status quo.
We’ve been discussing the fact that the human condition with all of its suffering and misery and depression and so on, is a result of one thing only. The attempt to be autonomous, the attempt to be an independent authorizer, the attempt to see and think about everything while leaving God out of the picture, and to determine what everything is for yourself.
Obviously, the solution to that problem is not going to come through further self-examination. The solution is going to come from reaching outside, inviting something else in. A simple thing that we’ve been talking about all along.
And so, I encourage you, especially over this next two-week period in which there is a holiday set aside for what? Gratitude! Use these two weeks to push the boundaries, to desire to experience what is beyond what you’re currently experiencing, but which, if I’m telling you the Truth, is present for you to experience. That every flower, every tree, every object you see, every paper cup, every CD, every object you see is an idea, and even though it’s tangible and perceptible to you, it is still pure idea. It is still pure energy and has no material accompaniments, no physical mass that must abide by physical laws, laws of physics.
Everything you see is capable of responding to and reflecting the Mind of God without being bound by anything other than the Father’s Intent. And that is why as you abandon a sick sense of yourself, a diseased sense of yourself, there can be instantaneous reconfiguration. And that’s why when there is a shift of your attention from one location to another, there can be immediate movement to the new location without the use of an airplane or any other physical means of travel.
What holds you in the human condition is your fascination with, and your commitment to, the attempt to be an independent authorizer. An independent, I’m going to say, visionary where you can make up the vision that you want to see and then see it, and thereby cause it to be real, separate and apart from Creation Itself as the Father Is Being It.
So let’s read and let’s find out about redefining or retranslating obsession, preoccupation, undying commitment to your personal goals, undying commitment to your personal goals that keeps you from experiencing Life fully, wholly, Divinely, satisfyingly and joyfully.
Again I will be reading from the transcript as prepared by Bill Thetford. And this section is entitled:
The Eternal Fixation2
The idea of “set” is among the better psychological concepts. Actually, it is used quite frequently in the Bible and also in this course under many different terms. For example, “God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed (or set) on Him,” a statement which means that God’s peace is set in the Holy Spirit because it is fixed on God. It is also fixed in you. You, then, ARE fixed in the peace of God. The concept of “fixation” is also a very helpful one which Freud understood perfectly. Unfortunately, he lost his understanding because he was afraid, and, as you know all too well, fear is incompatible with good judgment. Fear distorts thinking, and therefore DISorders thought.
Freud’s system of thought was extremely ingenious because Freud was extremely ingenuous, and a mind MUST endow its thoughts with its own attributes. This is its inherent strength, although it may misuse its power. Freud lost much of the potential value of his thought system because he did NOT include himself in it. This is a dissociated state because the thinker cuts himself off from his thoughts. Freud’s thought was so conflicted that he could not have retained his sanity as HE saw it WITHOUT dissociation. That is why the many contradictions which are quite apparent in his thinking became increasingly less apparent to HIM. A man who knows what fixation really means and yet does not yield to it is terribly afraid.
Now listen to this.
Fixation is the pull of God, on Whom your mind IS fixed because of the Holy Spirit’s irrevocable set.
Remember the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your Right Mind. Your Right Mind is forever fixed on God. Devoted. Committed. And truly incapable of having any other focus of attention.
As I’ve made clear to you, you can imagine that you can give your attention elsewhere, and then you can believe your imagination. And then you can make commitment to your imagination and become so involved with it that you forget what your only true capacity to make commitment involves, which is glorifying God, recognizing God in every single thing, recognizing what is Real in every single thing, rather than what you have determined it to be.
“Irrevocable” means “cannot be called back or redirected.” The irrevocable nature of the Holy Spirit’s set …
… or you could say “fixation”…
… is the basis for His unequivocal Voice. The Holy Spirit NEVER changes His mind. Clarity of thought CANNOT occur under conditions of vacillation.
So what does that mean? That means that this Place of Excellence in You, the Presence of the Holy Spirit that is your Right Mind, is actually incapable of vacillation. Your Essential Being is utterly stable right now, utterly clear right now, utterly intelligent right now, completely at Peace right now, and it never varies. You in your Right Mind are never in a state of variance, unevenness, disturbance, distress … right now.
What keeps you from experiencing it? The fact that in your attempt to look at everything through your own imagination and arriving at agreed-upon definitions with each other, you take this Divine Nature of yours to be fixated, to be unvaryingly committed to God, and you apply it to what you want to give your attention to. This Divine One That You Are uses Its Capacity to be unswervingly clear and focused on the Truth, you take it and apply it to what you are choosing to believe, the definitions you are choosing to give to everything. And you become obsessed with that activity. You become inappropriately fixated. But the fixation arises out of your Divine Capacity to be fixated on God, which is your Function.
Unless a mind is fixed in its purpose it is NOT clear. Clarity literally means the state of light, and enlightenment IS understanding. Enlightenment stands UNDER perception because you have denied it as the REAL foundation of thought.
This is the basis for ALL delusional systems.
Enlightenment doesn’t really stand under perception, but that’s the definition you’ve given to it and so it seems to be so for you.
The concept of fixation, as Freud saw it, has a number of learning advantages. First, it recognizes that man can be fixated at a point in development which does NOT accord with a point in time.
You’ve all, at one time or another, heard someone say, “Yes, he or she is 17 going on 34, or 34 going on 18,” meaning that someone has … their development has been arrested, you might say, at 18 years-old, even though they’re older. They’ve become fixated at a point of development that has nothing to do with their actual years. You can all become fixated in your growth.
Continuing. In fact, repeating …
First, it recognizes that man can be fixated at a point in development which does NOT accord with a point in time. This clearly could have been a means toward real release from the time belief had Freud pursued it with an open mind. Freud, however, suffered all his life from refusal to allow eternity to dawn upon his mind and enlighten it truly. As a result, he overlooked NOW entirely, and merely saw the continuity of past and future.
Second, although Freud misinterpreted what the Holy Spirit told him, or better, reminded him of, he was too honest to deny more than was necessary to keep his fear in tolerable bounds as he perceived the situation. Therefore, he emphasized that the point in development at which the mind is fixated is more real to ITSELF than the external reality with which it disagrees.
Does that make sense to you? It’s what we’ve been talking about. Your definitions that you give to everything, and the mutual agreements that you come to about those things, means that you are giving greater importance to your definition than to What The Thing Really Is, and you are becoming fixated on your definition.
Therefore, he emphasized that the point in development at which the mind is fixated is more real to ITSELF than the external reality with which it disagrees. This, again, could have been a powerful RELEASE mechanism had Freud not decided to involve it in a strong DEFENSE system because he perceived it as an attack.
I come along and I share with you A Course In Miracles and I talk with you and I uncover flaws in your thinking. I uncover illusions that you are entertaining that you thought were real. And I say, “There is something more here than what you’re seeing. You have bound yourself to a limited perception and it’s time for you to enlarge your boundaries. It’s time for you to let go of your tininess.”
And your ego says, “Attack! Attack! Everybody to their quarters! Attack! Attack! Take your stations!” You see?
Freud had the same problem. And so Freud used psychology so as to be able to better defend the threat without giving up the illusion. In other words, now you know what your problem is, now we’re going to learn how to live with it. We’re going to accept the problem, but we’re going to learn how to minimize its effects by greater self-discipline of your mind. You see?
Third, although Freud interpreted fixation as involving irrevocable “danger points” to which the mind could always regress, the concept can also be interpreted as an irrevocable call to sanity which the mind cannot LOSE.
You see? There’s the redefinition that leads to freedom.
Freud himself could not accept this interpretation, but throughout his thought system, the “threat” of fixation remained, and could never be eliminated by any living human being. Essentially, this was the basis of Freud’s pessimism, personally as well as theoretically. He tried every means his very inventive mind could devise to set up a form of therapy which could enable the mind to escape from fixation forever, even though he KNEW this was impossible.
Do you see what I was saying there? I was saying that Freud’s recognition of fixation, which was a new recognition, was the Holy Spirit’s reminding him that the very state of Divine Being, of Being Itself, involved fixation, involved one’s unswerving attentiveness to God in the Movement of Creation so as to be joined in the Movement of Creation, and so as to experience What You Are in your Totality as you were created to be, which again we could call co-creators with God. But such a statement required abandoning the personal private sense of self that you and Freud were entertaining, and that was too threatening to him.
If you know something is impossible, why do you keep trying to invent…
The question is asked, “If you know something is impossible, why do you keep trying to invent …”
As he did. He knew, but he kept inventing.
Well, for the same reason that you do, or any of the rest of you do. Because you have this very stubborn belief that you can actually succeed, independent of God, in creating something that would be as Real as what God is creating. You all believe this deeply. At the very center of your Being you know this is impossible. Logically it’s impossible because it’s impossible for you to actually be an independent thing.
You are having to use all of your Christ Capacity to create the imagination. You are the Son of God, or the Daughter of God, and all of this imagination that you’re engaging in, and all of this attempt that you are engaged in, to be independent and create something on your own, is utilizing the very thing that denies the accomplishment of the goal. Do you see what I’m saying?
So we know it but we don’t know it.
It’s said, “So we know it, but we don’t know that we know it.”
That is correct. You know it, but you are … you are ignoring what you know. You are burying it out of sight. You are repressing it. And all I’m encouraging all of you to do is to stop doing this. But the draw, you might say, the excitement of imagining that you have the potential to be an independent creator along with God, standing alongside God in your own right, that has you hooked.
This knowledge …
… that it’s impossible …
… plagued Freud’s belief in his own thought system at every turn because he was both an honest man and a healer. He was therefore only partially insane, and was unable to relinquish the HOPE of release even though he could not cope with it. The reason for this amount of detail is because YOU are in the same position. You …
… and this doesn’t just apply to Helen and Bill but to every one of you, every single one.
You were eternally fixated on God in your creation, and the pull of this fixation is so strong that you will never overcome it. The reason is perfectly clear. The fixation is on a level so high that it cannot BE surmounted. You are ALWAYS being pulled back to your Creator because you BELONG to Him.
Ooh! [Whispered] “You belong to someone.” [spoken much louder] “You’re a kept man. You’re a kept woman.” Insulting ain’t it? Yes, or comforting. It all depends on how important it is to you to be a self-made man or self-made woman.
Do you REALLY believe you can make a voice that can drown out His? Do you REALLY believe that you can devise a thought system which can separate you from His? Do you REALLY believe that you can plan for your safety and joy better than He can?
And believe it or not, your answers to all these questions are “yes.” At least they are still “yes.”
But now, let’s not feel guilty about it. Let’s not get depressed about it. But let’s recognize that you haven’t arrived yet. And if you haven’t arrived yet, you’re standing on the threshold of discovery, and all you have to do is to bring some curiosity, some genuine, playful curiosity into play.
You need be neither careful nor careless; you need merely cast your cares upon Him because He careth for YOU. You ARE His care because He loves you. His Voice reminds you always that all hope is yours BECAUSE of His care. You CANNOT choose to escape His care because that is not His Will, but you CAN choose to accept His care and use the infinite power OF His care for all those He created BY it.
You see, here’s where the reinterpretation is and here’s where the shift of fixation comes in. You’re not going to get rid of fixation. You’re just going to abandon being fixated on illusions. And you’re going to become fixated on the Light, as it were. You’re going to become fixated on the avenue by means of which your fulfillment comes to you. Not the avenue by means of which you generate your fulfillment, but the avenue by means of which your fulfillment comes to you because He cares for you.
There have been many healers who did not heal themselves. They have not moved mountains by their faith because their faith was not whole.
Any of these in the group here? Every single one of you are healers who may, or may not, have healed themselves, who haven’t moved any mountains. But these are the things … this is like the beginning of a list of things to become curious about having the experience of, that go outside the boundaries of your tiny, personal sense of yourself that you’ve honored so completely that you haven’t allowed for any other possibilities.
There have been many healers who did not heal themselves. They have not moved mountains by their faith because their faith was not whole. Some of them have healed the sick at times, but they have not raised the dead.
Oh! There’s another wonderful thing to add to the list. It’s one of the things, it’s an experience that awaits every single one of you. And you don’t have to be special to have the experience. Every single one of you is qualified, pre-qualified, truly pre-qualified, and not a pre-qualification that will go through after your credit is checked. You are fully pre-qualified.
Unless the healer heals HIMSELF he does NOT believe that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. He has not learned that EVERY mind God created is equally worthy of being healed BECAUSE GOD CREATED IT WHOLE. You are merely asked to return to God the mind as HE created it.
Your mind as He created it.
He asks you only for what He gave, knowing that this giving will heal you. Sanity IS wholeness, and the sanity of your brothers IS yours.
Why should you listen to the endless insane calls which you think are made upon you when you KNOW the Voice of God Himself is in you?
In other words, why, why would you listen to the calls of your Brothers and Sisters who say, “Behave yourself. You’re getting outside the box. Behave yourself. That’s not a part of the agreed-upon definitions. You don’t really believe you can be healed, do you? You don’t really believe that you’re divine, do you?” Every means will be used to bring you back in line with the mutually-agreed-upon definitions, including the ploy of guilt that we were speaking of last week.
But, again …
Why should you listen to the endless insane calls which you think are made upon you when you KNOW the Voice of God Himself is in you?
See. Where are you going to fixate your attention? Where are you going to obsess? Are you going to obsess on an illusion with your Brothers and Sisters? Are you going to make their opinion about you “god” to you? Or are you going to switch your fixation to God Whose Voice is in you, Whose Voice is you? Are you going to begin to fixate on the Place of Excellence in You that is the Excellent You That You Are and embody That and let the chips fall where they may?
God commended His Spirit to you, and asks that you commend yours to Him. He wills to keep it in perfect peace because you are of one mind and Spirit with Him. Excluding yourself from the Atonement is the ego’s last-ditch defense of its OWN existence. It reflects both the ego’s need to separate, and your willingness to side with its separateness. This willingness …
… to side with its separateness …
… means THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE HEALED.
And that’s all in capital letters.
Here’s where it might seem to be a criticism of you. But what it is, is a statement of the way the ego works, and that in order for the ego’s definitions to be effective, you must be willing to agree with it. You must bring your willingness into the picture. So, does this make you guilty? That’s irrelevant. What it means is that in order to have a different experience, all you have to do is redirect your willingness. What are you willing to become fixated upon? That which it is your fundamental nature to be? Or that which is absolutely foreign to you, is totally imaginative and therefore not substantially real, and therefore constitutes an illusory result? Which one are you going to make commitment to?
You didn’t know you had made commitment to the latter because you didn’t know there was any alternative. You had forgotten it because of your fixation. Now you’re not unconscious of the other option any longer. Now you have a choice. And now you can bring your willingness and express it in a new direction that returns you to your Sanity, wholizes you, breaks down the flimsy surface of the bubble that has been separating that of you which is Divine on the inside of the bubble with that of you which is Infinitely Present that is on the outside of the bubble.
But the time IS now. You have not been asked to work out the plan of salvation yourselves because…
… as I told you before…
… the remedy is NOT of your making. God Himself gave you the perfect correction for everything you have made which is NOT in accord with His holy Will. I have made His plan perfectly explicit to you…
… and I’m adding this: And will continue to make it explicit as long as I need to.
… and have also told you of your part in His plan, and how urgent it is that you fulfill it. There is time for delay…
… there is time for delay …
… but there need not be. God weeps at the “sacrifice” of His Children who believe they are lost to Him.
That’s another way of saying, “God cares.” And like any father or mother or anyone who truly cares about another, there is a compassion that comes into play when the one cared for is suffering needlessly. And there is an outpouring that comes forth because of caring, to override and overwhelm the nonsense that the loved one is suffering from. And it continues to pour forth until the suffering ends.
Now, you as you sit here may not feel as though you are really suffering at the moment. And I am grateful that that is the case. But until you are experiencing Pure Joy at being Conscious because you are experiencing your inseparability from God, compassion, and Love and Clarity designed to cut through your defenses and register with the Divine You that’s inside the bubble, comes forth from the Father and from those of us in the Brotherhood Who Are Awake, and Sisterhood Those of Us Who Are Awake, every one of your Guides, and most of all that which is nothing more than your Right Mind, the Holy Spirit.
After all, it’s important for you to know that if you’re going to shift your attention to God, that God and all Those Who Know they are inseparable from God are reaching out to you, and have been reaching out to you even before you knew that there was any alternative to the current quote “state of being” unquote that you’re experiencing.
I have already told you that whenever you are not wholly joyous it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to some Soul which God created. Perceiving this as “sin,” you become defensive because you EXPECT ATTACK. The decision to react in this way, however, is YOURS, and can therefore be undone. It CANNOT be undone by repentance in the usual sense, because this implies guilt. If you allow yourself to feel guilty you will REINFORCE the error rather than allow it to be undone FOR you.
Decisions CANNOT be difficult. This is obvious if you realize that you must ALREADY have made a decision NOT to be wholly joyous if that is how you feel. Therefore, the first step in the undoing is to recognize that you ACTIVELY DECIDED WRONGLY…
… oh dear! Another accusation? Another thing to feel guilty for? How bad you are? No.
Therefore, the first step in the undoing is to recognize that you ACTIVELY DECIDED WRONGLY, but can AS ACTIVELY DECIDE OTHERWISE.
We’ve talked about shifting operating systems, and now we could talk about shifting fixations.
Be very firm with yourselves in this, and keep yourselves fully aware of the fact that the undoing process, which does NOT come from you, is nevertheless WITHIN you because God placed it there.
It’s the Holy Spirit.
YOUR part …
… and here I am speaking to the Holy Spirit in you, but I’m also speaking to who you think you are.
YOUR part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace. Say to yourselves the following as sincerely as you can, remembering that the Holy Spirit …
… that which is nothing more than your Right Mind.
… will respond fully to your slightest invitation:
Quote, this is how you shift fixations. This is how you open the door to shifting operating systems.
“I must have decided wrongly because I am NOT at peace. I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. I WILL to decide otherwise because I WANT to be at peace. I do NOT feel guilty because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision IF I WILL LET HIM. I WILL to let Him by allowing Him to decide for God for me.”
You see, who you think you are in your ignorance of the awareness of What You Divinely Are is what you think is a decision against God on your own behalf. It’s a decision against God on behalf of your capacity to successfully get a bill of divorcement from God and become the very first Son or Daughter of God who has managed to mature into independent Godhood status, and thereby having become the full-fledged expression of God. I say “full-fledged” because the belief is that a child is always to grow up and become an adult and break allegiance with the parents, and be an adult like them in their own right. And that’s the means by which you justify the way you behave in your families, as well as the way you approach, or shall I say, leave God.
As you give your attention to that Place of Excellence in You and you open up to It, and you decide to yield to It, and the bubble begins to burst, what you’re doing is letting the Holy Spirit, that which is nothing more than your Right Mind, decide for God because It’s fixed on God and It makes the decision for you, because in the act of yielding, you’re not in full command and full awareness of Who You Are. And so It makes the decision for God for you. And because you are yielding to Its decision, you are blessed. And you are brought back. This one who seems to have been experiencing an independent existence on its own, it finds its true experience of Selfhood, of Being, infilling you.
So we’re talking about having a new fixation. Not a fixation on yourself. Not a fixation on your visions and your imaginations, but a fixation on God. And how have I suggested having a fixation on God? By looking for God in everything you see and desiring to see What God Is Meaning right there, as I’ve said, in the flower, in your Brothers’ and Sisters’ eyes. And then facilitate that movement by disengaging from the use of criticism and guilt. At least facilitate it by not engaging in that any longer.
So have two weeks for sure of embodying gratitude. Say “Thank you” for the flowers because of what they must be even if you’re not seeing it. Say “Thank you” for what they hold for you. And let there be a curiosity at the same time and even if you don’t see it yet, say “Thank you.” Say “Thank you” for your family, and say “Thank you” for everything that’s in your face, because What Each Thing Divinely Is stands there as a learning device for you, a means of remembering what’s true. And whether you see it or not depends upon what you’re fixed on. That’s all. And you know what? You’ll all get the hang of it. You’ll all get the hang of it.
I love you. And I’ll be with you two weeks from now.