Aug 1, 2004
T7.11 The State of Grace
Good afternoon. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
How many of you have had a salesman come to your door with a brand new cleaning gadget, vacuum cleaner, steam cleaner, and actually succeeded in inspiring you to purchase the item, let’s say, a steam cleaning unit which can do tile and floors and carpets and ovens and walls, the grooves in your sliding glass windows, so many things, and it can get them really clean, and so for the next week, you clean house like you’ve never cleaned house before just to test it out?
Well, in a way the Course can be similar. Oh! It’s a wonderful way to clean up your act. It’s a wonderful way to purify yourself. It’s a wonderful way to cleanse the old bad habits. And you proceed to go through yourself with a vengeance and find every dark corner that you can possibly find and purge it with the truth that you find in the Course or whatever other teaching it is that is new to you.
I want to put this delicately. The only thing that’s wrong with you is that you don’t know something is right with you. You have forgotten that you’re Divine. You have forgotten that you’re the Direct Expression of the Creator, God, the Source, whatever word you want to use. And you have forgotten that there’s no way for you to become more or less than that. You have forgotten that there’s a Place of Excellence in you.
So what’s left? [laughing] A mess to clean up. A mess to work on. An undeveloped or under developed entity that needs through an effort of will and focus and concentration and commitment to upgrade himself or herself, attempting to finish something that is unfinished.
Now some of you go to extremes with this so much so that you stay working with a psychologist or a self-improvement group, because if there’s the slightest experience of uneasiness in you, you just know that it’s something fundamentally wrong with you that is attempting to assert itself. And so, when in many cases all that would be appropriate would be to brush off the feeling, you get into a concerted self-improvement program or process. You just know that whatever is wrong with you will never be working to your advantage, and therefore something in you is always undermining anything good that might happen. It’s always undermining any opportunity you might have for success or happiness. And you go around in a constant state of self-blame which justifies persisting in attempting to cleanse yourself with the truth.
I am oversimplifying things when I say the only thing that’s wrong with you is that you have forgotten that there is something right with you. But it’s absolutely true there are things that all of you do need to recognize and correct so that poor behavior is changed into behavior that is constructive, supportive and healing. But, the actual solution to your problem is not to attack the problem, but to remember that there is something fundamentally right with you so that you can bring your attention to that. So that you might invite that fact to more fully present itself to you in your experience, in your Conscious Experience of You. So that your inclination to demean and berate yourself and constantly be on an inner witch-hunt can be set aside. So that you’re not constantly suffering from a poor self-appraisal.
Now are you the Sons and Daughters of God. And that’s what needs to be remembered so that you might tap into the dynamics of What’s True About You, rather than constantly trying to tap into the dynamics of what’s wrong with you for purposes of correction.
Now I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You don’t need to go on a self-actuated internal witch-hunt in order to improve yourself. What you need to do is turn toward the Altar, go within to that Place of Excellence, tap into it by desiring to know of it What Is True About You. And in the process of that being revealed to you as an inner experience, you will find resistances coming up in you to what you’re hearing, and those are the things that are ripe for correction. And that’s where to give your attention for purposes of correction.
And where do you get the means to correct it? From the very same place that you’ve been accessing that caused them to arise and present themselves in your face so that you can’t ignore them and so that you can correct them—the Holy Spirit, that Place of Excellence in you. You say, in so many words, “Okay, Holy Spirit, you’ve been telling me the truth about myself. What you’ve been telling me is bringing up resistances in me. And there’s this particular resistance right now. How do I deal with it?” And you listen, and as the answer is presented to you, you deal with correcting that and letting it go.
You can’t wake up without correcting the things that have blinded you to the Kingdom of Heaven. But you let your journey Home uncover the things that need correction. You don’t turn away from Home and go within into the dark places of you and clean it out first, because your unconnected sense of self is a maze of things to clean up, and most of the things there to be cleaned up are not the actual problem. And so when they get cleaned up, you haven’t made any progress. Why? Because they didn’t address the fundamental problem which is that you have forgotten that there is something right with you.
One of the attractive things about the Course is that for the intellectual, for the one engaged in an intelligent cleansing and purifying of himself, it provides many, many principles and ideas that can be used in a process of cleansing. And you know what? You can engage in this process of cleansing unjoined, still disconnected, and you can think that doing that is actually causing healing and change to occur.
But there’s only one thing that will cause healing and change to occur, and that is through your conscious and conscientious intent to make connection with the Holy Spirit, to go within to that Altar and make connection with the Wisdom of Being that is right there in the middle of you, and to begin to lean on it and rely upon it and bring it into play relative to every aspect of your day. Because at the bottom line what you all really want is to find that every aspect of your day is some aspect of the Kingdom of Heaven which you had misinterpreted and which had caused you, therefore, not to see the Kingdom of Heaven. What you really want is to be able to look at anything and remember God right there, see God right there, because that is what is right there.
Well, here comes the first resistance. “But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I can’t do it.” Well, I’ll tell you something. The Excellence in You didn’t give you that message, and so when that thought comes, you say, “Holy Spirit, I’m being told, the suggestion is being made to me, that I don’t have it in me to make connection with you, that I’m handicapped. What’s the answer for that?” And if the feeling presents itself to you at that point, “Well, what makes you think now you will be able to hear?”, you’ve got to deal right there with whether or not you want to wake up, with whether or not you are going to persist in spite of these suggestions of incapacity [that] present themselves to you. And then persist.
We read last week that the Holy Spirit is on your side. Well, when the thought comes “you can’t do it,” are you just going to forget what we read? Are you just going to forget and abandon the fact that the Holy Spirit is on your side? Well, okay, that’s the next thing for you to listen about. “Are you really so wishy-washy that you can’t possibly hold your attention in one place long enough for what is there to register with you?” You see how insulting the ego is? The only thing is you usually agree. You say, “That’s right. I don’t have what it takes.” And what that really means is: “I don’t want to have what it takes, ‘cause I think it’s going to be too much work and I’m not that unhappy. I’m not that miserable yet.
All of these things I’m saying are different forms of the ego’s resistance, of the ego’s resistance to your uncovering the something that’s right with you and remembering that’s there’s something right with you. And that the something that is right with you is itself the nonexistence of that which suggests that there is something wrong with you that you must give your full attention to. Again, the something right with you is the all-inclusive, omnipresent Something-ness of you that is the nonexistence of something wrong with you.
Now, I will keep telling you that there’s nothing wrong with you. The Holy Spirit will keep telling you that there is nothing wrong with you. And we will both keep telling you there is something right with you which, if you will invite it into your conscious awareness, will uncover the fact, illuminate the fact, that there are no dark places in you.
So, beware when the next mental salesman presents himself to you with some new teaching, some new method, of purifying your soul. And stop using the Course as though that was its purpose. It isn’t a super-duper Brillo pad to scour the inside of you to shiny brightness. It is the message of the Holy Spirit fundamentally and ultimately saying to you, “You are the Son or Daughter of God. You are the Direct Expression of God. You are God Embodied. You are God Expressed. And you’ve never become anything less. And this fact of you has remained the untouched fact of you for eternity and it will continue for eternity. It cannot be altered. And you do not need to continue suffering and experiencing the conflict resulting from believing otherwise.
So let’s go into the book.
The State of Grace1
The Holy Spirit will always guide you truly, because YOUR joy is HIS. This is His Will for everyone, because He speaks for the Kingdom Of God, which IS joy. Following Him is therefore the easiest thing in the world, and the only thing that IS easy, because it is not of the world, and is therefore NATURAL.
Now let’s be very clear here.
… it is not of the world…
… Well, what world do you know of? The world that you have given definitions to, and that your parents provided definitions for, which were not descriptions or illustrations of What The World Really Is, which is the Kingdom of Heaven, because they weren’t seeing the Kingdom of Heaven either. So it’s easy because it is not of the world you are perceiving and is therefore natural.
The world goes AGAINST your nature, being out of accord with God’s laws. The world perceives orders of difficulty in everything.
Well I wonder, did a tree tell the writer that? Did the snail say it perceives orders of difficulty? Did the rock somehow communicate that everything of which it is a part has orders of difficulty? What world perceives orders of difficulty in everything? The world you made-up and that you are holding in your mind, that you are holding in a mind that has declared independence from the Father, from its Source, and therefore cannot perceive anything accurately because it doesn’t know What It Is in actuality.
The world goes AGAINST your nature…
… your misperceptions go against your Nature, because your Nature is to experience with absolute clarity the Truth. The world you have made-up and the sense of yourself that you have made-up goes against your Nature. That’s why listening to the Holy Spirit brings you back into alignment with your Divine Nature because the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind.
The world perceives orders of difficulty in everything. This is because the ego perceives nothing as wholly desirable. By demonstrating to yourselves that there is no order of difficulty in miracles, you will convince yourselves that, in your NATURAL state, there is no difficulty …
… because it is a state of grace.
What is a State of Grace? A State of Grace is you experiencing your Inheritance. And as I’ve said before, the Father has withheld nothing of What He Is from you in His Expression of Himself that is called you. Therefore, everything has been given, or, more appropriately, everything is being embodied as you right now with nothing left out. Therefore, you do not have to earn it, you do not have to become equal to it, you do not have to become worthy of it. It has already been given. It is already being given at every moment of Conscious Experience that you are having. That’s Grace. It’s a Gift. It’s a Gift that has been given. It is a Gift that is being given. And that’s why you experience existing.
Again, because this is important.
By demonstrating to yourselves that there is no order of difficulty in miracles, you will convince yourselves that, in your natural state, there is no difficulty because it is a state of grace.
Grace is the natural state of every Son of God. When he is NOT in a state of grace, he is out of his natural environment and does not function well.
Well what’s your natural environment? It’s your right Mind. Your natural state is a state where there is no confusion, a state where there is no conflict, a state where there is no fear, a state of absolute, moving Peace.
When he is NOT …
… when you are not in a state of grace, you are out of your natural environment and do not function well. [laughing] None of you needs an explanation of that.
Everything he does becomes a strain, because he was not created for the environment that he has made.
And I’m going to read it again and change the words.
Grace is the NATURAL state of every Son of God. When you are NOT in a state of grace, you are out of your natural environment and do not function well. Everything you do becomes a strain because you were not created for the environment that you have made. That you have made-up. You therefore CANNOT adapt to it, nor can you adapt IT to YOU.
I’m going to shift back to the wordings here in the book.
He therefore cannot adapt to it, nor can he adapt it to him. There is no point in trying.
Do you hear that?
There is no point in trying.
The only thing that prolongs the dream is that you keep thinking there is a point in trying. You keep thinking that there is a point in trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You think there’s a point in trying to authorize things in the world and authorize things in your life and actually authorize your very own existence. The only reason you can seem to be able to try to authorize your own existence is because you already exist as an interminable State of Being, an unaffectable—unaffectable—State of Being. So, you’re trying to duplicate what God has already done. And there’s no point in trying. Why waste your time? There is no point in trying.
A Son of God is happy only when he knows he is with God.
You might say, “on God’s Side,” instead of your side with your rights and your desire to be an authorizer. Again, it’s called yielding. It’s called fitting in. It’s called letting someone find the little puzzle piece that you are underneath the corner of the sofa and put you into the puzzle, put you into your perfect spot where you complete the picture, and thereby the complete picture becomes you.
That is the only environment in which he will not experience strain, because that is where he belongs. It is also the only environment that is worthy of him, because his own worth is beyond anything he can make.
I’m going to suggest something. When you read these words, change “he” and “one” to “you,” to “me” or “I.”
That is the only environment in which (if you were reading it) I will not experience strain, because that is where I belong. It is also the only environment that is worthy of me, because my own worth is beyond anything I can make, anything I can make-up.
Continuing with the words in the book.
Consider the kingdom you have made…
… oh, you don’t think you made a kingdom? You don’t think you looked out there and decided what that tree was? Well unless you went within and God revealed to you what that tree is, then you did make it up. You are looking at a definition you have arrived at that you are satisfied with at the moment. That’s not a condemnation. It’s just a statement of fact that helps bring clarity into view so that you have justification for making a different choice. Not because you’re guilty, but because if a choice you have made doesn’t work, you really don’t want to persist in it.
So again …
Consider the kingdom you have made, and judge its worth fairly. Is it worthy to be a home for a Child of God?
Well what do you see when you look out there? A hostile world. Is what you’re seeing worthy of being a home for a Child of God? No. Even more, is that what’s actually out there? Or, is that what you’re believing is out there?
Is it worthy to be a home for a Child of God? Does it protect his peace, and shine love upon him?
When you look out, not necessarily at nature, but at what you see on TV and what your fellowman is saying and doing, or your neighbors, et cetera, does it protect your peace? Does it shine love upon you? Does it keep your heart untouched by fear, and allow you to give always without any sense of loss?
I changed the words. I’m going to go back and read it the way it is in the book.
Does it keep his …
… a Child of God’s …
… heart untouched by fear, and allow him to give always, without any sense of loss? Does it teach him that this giving is his joy, and that God Himself thanks him for his giving? That is the ONLY environment in which you can be happy. You cannot make it, any more than you can make yourselves. It has been created FOR you, as you were created for it.
Just as with the puzzle, all of the rest of the puzzle was created for you, just as you were created for it. And together you all constitute the Wholeness of Being that God IS Being. And in yielding to that Function, to that State of Being, you become co-creators with God.
… the only environment in which you can be happy …
… has been created FOR you, as you were created for it. God watches over His Children and denies them nothing. Yet when they deny Him they do not know this, because they deny themselves everything.
You who could give the Love of God to everything you see and touch and remember are literally denying Heaven to yourselves. I call upon you again to remember that I have chosen you to teach the Kingdom to the Kingdom.
Pretty sneaky, huh? You can’t see the Kingdom of Heaven but it’s all that is confronting you. And I’m asking you to teach the Kingdom to what you’re seeing which doesn’t look like the Kingdom to you. I’m telling you to bring your capacity to Love and to know the Truth, I’m asking you to bring that to bear upon what you have created, the definitions you’ve given to everything, and to Love beyond the definitions you’ve given.
Why? Because that’s what will illuminate in your Mind the Truth of What’s Going On. You’ve got to love what you’ve been hating and what you have been afraid of so that you can bring the essence of illumination to the spot where you had created a fog, a mist, a density, a darkness, that didn’t let you see What Was Really There.
You could say I’m asking you to bring the Light to the Light, except that you thought that the Light you’re bringing it to was darkness. It’s pretty sneaky. It’s gets you to give your attention where it’s needed for a purpose that will undo, in spite of you, the meanings you’ve applied to everything, and thereby break your fog, break your illusion, break your misperceptions.
You who could give the Love of God to everything you see and touch and remember are literally denying Heaven to yourselves. I call upon you again to remember that I have chosen you to teach the Kingdom to the Kingdom. There are no exceptions to this lesson because the lack of exceptions IS the lesson.
The lesson is that there isn’t anything that can be left outside the Kingdom of Heaven in your Mind because there is nothing outside the Kingdom of Heaven. There are no exceptions. And as you begin to accept that and as you begin to be willing to look at everything inclusively, you will bring Singularity into view within you. And in Singularity there is no conflict, and so it will bring Peace into view as an experience within you. And as what you are giving the benefit of God to changes, so will your experience of yourself change. And you will find nothing there to demean or criticize or search for to scour out.
Every Son who returns to the Kingdom with this lesson in his heart has healed the Sonship and given thanks to God. Everyone who learns this lesson has become the perfect teacher because he has learned it of the Holy Spirit, Who wants to teach him everything He …
… the Holy Spirit …
Your right Mind wants to teach you everything it knows, because everything it knows is everything you know. And it is not appropriate for you to be experiencing this artificial separation from everything you know. And so it is the Holy Spirit’s intent, it is the intent of your Sanity, of your right Mind, to inspire and cause integration to happen within you.
When a mind has only light, it KNOWS only light. Its own radiance shines all around it, and extends out into the darkness of other minds, transforming them into majesty.
I know. You say, “I genuinely wish I could do that.” Well, then start with your own minds, start with the trees that you see, start with the things that are in your immediate experience, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see what you’re looking at through Its eyes. Because ultimately you know that they are your eyes and you don’t want to be fragmented, and you don’t want to be experiencing a dissonance that cannot really be there, even if the dissonance is only a matter of ignorance as to what a rock is, or what a flower really is.
Make the Gift of Love to the things that aren’t resisting you. Don’t pick the most resistant, most difficult person in your life to learn this on. Begin with those individuals and those things that are not providing resistance, and who might even be showing an interest. This does not mean that you should withhold the desire to see someone who is resisting as They Truly Are, but don’t use them as a test case to justify whether doing this is worth it.
Mind you, whether there is great resistance or no resistance at all (and now I’m going to read):
The Majesty of God is there, for you to recognize and appreciate and know. Perceiving the Majesty of God AS your brother is to accept your OWN inheritance.
And I’m going to say perceiving the Majesty of God as your Brother, whether he resists it like hell, whether he is unpleasant, unkind, hateful, in response, is to accept your own inheritance. Do it so that you might be blessed. And I’ll tell you something. When you do it so that you might be blessed and you receive the blessing, your very presence, your transformed presence, will be an even more reasonable and acceptable justification from your Brother’s vantage point for maybe believing you. He will find himself more willing to yield because he has an example, rather than someone trying to cram the truth down his throat against his will.
God gives only equally.
God gives only equally. If you recognize His gift in anyone else, you have acknowledged what He has given you. Nothing is as easy to perceive as truth. This is the perception which is immediate, clear and natural. You have trained yourselves NOT to see it, and this has been very difficult for you. OUT of your natural environment …
… or out of your right Mind …
… you may well ask, “What is truth?” since truth IS the environment by which and for which you were created.
And I will add: And which you have denied by virtue of choosing to think that you’re something other than What You Are, an independent agent rather than a co-creator with God.
You might say that a co-creator with God is someone who stands with God but doesn’t get in the way of God’s Movement. How many of you who have had children who are watching you do something they’re never seen you do before and who are very eager and curious, how many of you said, “The best way you can help me is just to stand there and watch. You can actually help me make this by not aking me so many questions and watch me make it so that it will be done sooner.”? And the child becomes a co-creator rather than an interference.
You do not know yourselves because you do not know your Creator. You do not know your creations because you do not know your brothers, who created them WITH you. We said before that only the whole Sonship is worthy to be co-creator with God because only the whole Sonship can create LIKE Him.
The whole. So co-creation isn’t an independent act of an independent agent, but is what the Whole Brotherhood does together. What does the Whole Sonship do together? It gives Evidence of God, and feels its Joy at fulfilling its Function, and thereby constantly stands at the threshold of the Movement of Creation, of “Behold, I make all things new.” And you could say rejoices with God as God sees everything that He has made and recognizes Himself in it. By letting no other mind be in you but the Mind That Is God, you become the Conscious Experience of God recognizing Himself in the Movement of Being.
Whenever you heal a brother by recognizing his worth, you are acknowledging his power to create AND YOURS. He cannot have lost what YOU recognize, and YOU must have the glory you see in him. He is a co-creator with God with YOU. Deny HIS creative power…
… in other words, [laughing] if you try to kick him under the corner of the sofa out of the puzzle box.
Deny his creative power, and you are denying yours AND THAT OF GOD WHO CREATED YOU. You cannot deny part of truth. You do not know your creations because you do not know their creator. You do not know yourselves because you do not know YOURS.
Of course, you got that famous bill of divorcement from your Father and lost your Identity. But all you have to do is annul it. All you have to do is annul it. Afterall, there was no way for you to engage in Creation after you did that. That’s like having no sex and no valid state of being. So you won’t get any arguments against an annulment; the church will let you have it.
Your creations cannot establish your reality, any more than you can establish God’s.
You all dream of making your mark on the world, or have at one point or another. You want your actions, your creations to register the fact that you were here and make your presence real. But you are Real before you take a breath, or lift a finger, or create anything.
Your creations cannot establish your reality, any more than you can establish God’s.
You see, your existing, your existence, doesn’t establish the Reality of God. God is Real, and His Reality is what establishes your existence. Not the other way around. And God does not look at you to see how well He’s doing. Thank God. [mild audience laughter] If He could see you the way you see you, existence would suddenly end in an infinite mental breakdown. God does not see you the way you see yourselves. That’s why it is such an illegimate imposition upon the Sons and Daughters of God That You Are for you to be experiencing things the way you’re experiencing them.
Your creations cannot establish your reality, any more than you can establish God’s. But you can know both. Being is known by sharing. BECAUSE God shared His Being with you, you can know Him. But you must also know all He created, to know what they have shared. Without your Father, you will not know your fatherhood. The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons and their children, who are like the Sons as they are like the Father.
Here we are back to the subject of Singularity. Although there seems to be multiplicity, infinity of expression called Creation, it all remains one. It has not become fragmented, disjointed, disintegrated, by virtue of the Singularity of Being being infinitely experienceable. The very chapter we have been reading has been called, “The Consistency of the Kingdom.”
The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons …
… and I will add: Daughters …
… and their children, who are like the Sons as they are like the Father. Know, then, the Sons of God, and you will know all creation.
Let the little puzzle piece that you are, hiding under the corner of the sofa, be found and brought back to your place amongst all the other puzzle pieces, all of the others of the Brotherhood, so that you might take your place, complete the picture, and lose this sense of boundary around a tiny little puzzle piece, so that you might experience your Identity as the Whole.
And then remember that the picture in the puzzle is a moving picture, not a still-life, and the Movement is Creation. And you will get a feel for what you are opening yourself up for.
The next chapter is called:
The Journey Back
Well, I don’t want you to be confused. We’ve talked today as though you’re already Home, right? We’ve talked about the fact that the journey back, the journey back, is not the focus. We need to talk about the journey back, but we need to talk about it on the basis that you are neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it; you are at that point and must understand yourself therefrom.
So I look forward to being with you next week. And I love you all.
You exist by Grace. Let that sink in. Okay.
T7.11 The State of Grace ↩︎