Oct 17, 2004
T8.5 The Power of Joint Decision

Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.

Very important first sentence.

Truth can only be EXPERIENCED.1

I’ve talked about this before, the fact that Truth isn’t a linear, intellectual explanation of something that through reason you understand. Truth is an experience. I’m going to put it this way. Truth is the experience of What A Thing Is, an experience in which the whole of What That Thing Is is fully disclosed to you. And what that thing is not finds no abiding place in your awareness. Truth, therefore, is the undistorted, unbound Conscious Awareness of Something. I have referred to it as Knowing, with a capital “K”, which is different from understanding.

When you see the table, when you see your Brother or Sister, when you see your fingernail, when you see the sky or the trees, and your experience of what you’re seeing is utterly and completely whole, you are experiencing the Truth. And as I’ve also said before, when you have that experience, that undistorted experience of something, you unavoidably have the experience of your oneness with it.

That’s part of the whole experience of a thing. You will never be left out of the experience of a thing. You will never find yourself to be an observer of the thing. You will have—and the word “experience” is a shallow word compared to the experience—you will have the experience of What A Thing Divinely Is from which you will in no way feel separated. And you will also know that it’s an Experience of God. That is the Experience of Truth.

Truth can only be EXPERIENCED. It cannot be described, and it cannot be explained.

So if somebody says, “Well, let me tell you what the Truth is,” you know that whatever follows cannot possibly be the Truth. You want to speak to someone who says, “I will be with you from the Place of Excellence in me that uncovers the Place of Excellence in you, so that you might be susceptible to the Experience of Truth.” Whether that person says that or not, that’s who you want to be with.

Continuing …

I can make you aware of the CONDITIONS of truth, but the experience is of God.

In other words, Truth is a revelation.

Together we can meet its conditions, but truth will dawn upon you of itself.

Now let me ask you something. If It’s not something that can be explained or understood, how are you going to approach the Experience of Truth? By trying to figure out What It Is? No. The only way you’re going to be able to approach It is by becoming quiet and abandoning everything you ever thought the Truth was about whatever you’re considering. And you must then make an invitation for What The Truth Is about that thing to reveal Itself to you. And then be unconditionally open to the reception of the revelation. You must invite Truth to reveal Itself to you, and then you must be open enough to let It reveal Itself. It is a call for enough humility to shut up and set aside your best theories, and be ready to experience the unexpected.

Continuing …

What God has willed for you IS yours.

It’s already been willed to you for you. It’s already yours. And what has God willed for you? Truth. The Experience of Truth. It is God’s Will for you to be experiencing everything, including yourself, As It Is and As You Are. The experience is already yours to have.

Continuing …

He has given His Will to His treasure…

… and you are His Treasure.

He has given His Will to His treasure, whose treasure It is.

That He has willed to you is your Treasure.

Your heart lies where your treasure is, as His does. You who are beloved of God are wholly blessed.

Already. Already. Whether you’re acting lousy or not, you’re already blessed. You’re not likely to experience the blessing until you’re ready to abandon whatever false perceptions of yourself you are entertaining that are causing you to behave badly. But the blessing is yours, has been extended to you, and is awaiting your providing the conditions under which the revelation of the Truth About You and the Truth About What God Has Willed For You can register with you.

Continuing …

Learn this of me, and free the holy will of all those who are as blessed as YOU are.

The minute you learn it about you, again without a conscious, linear, reasoned thought, you will immediately be aware that What Is True Of You is True Of Your Brothers. And you will never again consider your Brothers in a less … in a more limited fashion. And so your Brothers are blessed. Why? Because you will have withdrawn from whatever mutually-agreed definitions had been arrived at by you and your Brother that confirm ignorance, confirm misperception.

Learn this of me…

… I can also say learn this of your Guide. But understand that the only way you’ll come Home is together with One Who Is Awake.

Learn this of me, and free the holy will of all those who are as blessed as YOU are.

Okay. The next section is called:

Communication and the Ego-Body Equation

For those of you who are in the First and Second Editions, you have a different heading. But this heading, “Communication and the Ego-Body Equation,” identifies the content of the coming section more explicitly and more upfront.

Attack is ALWAYS physical. When attack in any form enters your mind, you are EQUATING yourself with a body.

Well, I imagine some of you are thinking, “Mm. Attack is always physical? Well, I know when I’ve experienced being attacked mentally. I know when I’ve experienced having my beliefs attacked. I’ve experienced having what I understand attacked. I’ve had experiences of having my peace undermined and that’s not physical. What do you mean, ‘attack is always physical’?”

When attack in any form enters your mind, you are EQUATING yourself with a body.

Well, let’s make this even more clear. When attack in any form enters your mind, it means that you are not identifying yourself as One with the Father. It means that you are identifying yourself as post-divorce self—after you’ve divorced your Father. It means you are identifying yourself as what you are experiencing yourself to be. And naturally, you identify yourself as a body born of a woman, et cetera.

So if you are experiencing attack, it means that you are in a state of mind in which you are defining yourself as separate, alone, autonomous, and, if at all possible, enjoying the autonomy to the max, and the thrill, as I’ve said before, of overcoming this conflicted world you find yourself in, which only appears to be conflicted because you are seeing through a lens of selfhood that isn’t the Truth. You are looking at everything through a lens of self-denial, meaning a denial of What You Truly Are, and therefore an attempt to exist in a state that is at odds with What You Truly Are. And that conflict is what you find confronting you when you look through that lens at what? Reality, the Kingdom of Heaven, the only thing there ever is for you to be experiencing.

When attack in any form enters your mind, you are EQUATING yourself with a body.

Mind you …

This is the ego’s INTERPRETATION of the body.

Don’t miss that point. This is the ego’s interpretation of Something that’s Real.

You do not have to attack physically to accept this interpretation.

Of the body.

You are accepting it simply by the belief that attack can GET you something you want. If you did not believe this, the idea of attack would have no appeal for you.

When you are so absolutely positive that you’re just a physical organism with a capacity to understand spiritual things, you are in a state of lack. First of all, a lack of comprehension of Who You Are. Secondly and automatically, a lack of Peace. And thirdly, an experience of everything that is conflicted which you must constantly defend yourself against. And everything is not yours as it was when you were awake. And so you must claim your good, you must take possession of your good. And since from this standpoint, from a physical standpoint, there is a limited amount of physicality to possess, then you must take it at the expense of someone else who would possess it.

Continuing …

When you equate yourself with a body you will ALWAYS experience depression.

Again, when you equate yourself or define yourself as separate from your Source, you will always experience depression. Again, because you’re in a state of self-denial.

When a Child of God thinks of himself in this way he is belittling himself and seeing his brothers as similarly belittled. Since he can find himself ONLY in them, he has cut himself off from salvation.

Now I know we’ve talked about this before, but let’s look at this again.

Since he can find himself ONLY in them, he has cut himself off from salvation.

The only way you are ever going to be able to break the isolation from God is to extend God’s Love to your Brother whom you are holding yourself separate from, and who you see is holding himself or herself separate from you. And so your salvation lies in having an object of your affection to whom you extend something True, to whom you extend the Truth, to whom you extend the Vision of What He Really Is, because in your extending that Vision to him, you make it True of you. You make it your own. Why? Because you have accepted it for yourself, and you have been willing to declare your position, publicly extend the recognition to your Brother in acts and words and deeds.

Now …

Remember that the Holy Spirit interprets the body only as a means of communication.

Now the word “only” is not a belittling word there. It means that the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the body is pure. It is not a combination of disintegrated ideas. And so there’s nothing confusing about the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the body.

Remember that the Holy Spirit interprets the body only as a means of communication. Being the communication link between God and His separated Sons, the Holy Spirit interprets everything YOU have made in the light of what HE is. The ego SEPARATES through the body. The Holy Spirit REACHES THROUGH it to others.

It doesn’t say here that the Holy Spirit sees the body as an illusion. It doesn’t say that the Holy Spirit sees the body as nonexistent. It says that the Holy Spirit sees it only as What It Is—a means of communication.

Continuing …

You do not perceive your brothers as the Holy Spirit does because you do not interpret their bodies and yours solely as a means of …

… what?

… joining their MINDS and uniting them with yours and mine. This interpretation of the body will change your mind entirely about its value. Of itself it has NONE.

In other words, separated from its Function, separated from its Meaning, it has no Meaning. So it does exist, but it doesn’t exist as what you have believed it existed for.

If you use the body for attack, it IS harmful to you. If you use it only to reach the minds of those who believe they are bodies, and teach them THROUGH the body that this is not so, you will begin to understand the power of the mind that is in both of you. If you use the body for this and ONLY for this, you CANNOT use it for attack.

You could ask yourself right now, “What is Paul using his body for right now?” To reach through it with the Truth. To your bodies? No. To your Mind. To that which your bodies are simply the Visibility and Tangibility of.

Continuing …

In the service of uniting, it becomes a beautiful lesson in communion, which has value until communion IS.

Meaning until Communion is the permanent Infinite Conscious Experience Of Being.

This is God’s way of …

… Unmaking …

… of making unlimited what you have limited.

You have limited your body by thinking it’s a physical organism, a product of evolution, rather than the Visibility and Tangibility of you which, while you’re feeling separated, you can only truly use in order to express and embody Love, in the extension of It to your Brother for the purpose of helping your Brother remember Who He Or She Is, which is not a body, but the Mind that has no boundary, in which the Conscious Experience of body is.

The Holy Spirit does not see the body as you do …

… it doesn’t say, “The Holy Spirit doesn’t see the body at all.” It says:

The Holy Spirit does not see the body as you do because He knows the ONLY reality anything can have is the service it can render God on behalf of the function He has given it.

That’s called glorifying God, praising God. Except you know what? Praising God doesn’t mean singing beatitudes. It doesn’t mean saying “Glory to God in the Highest.” What it means is looking at your Brother and recognizing the Truth About Your Brother, having the Experience of Truth About Your Brother, because you’re not harboring private definitions of your own creating that are getting in the way of it. And as a result of the clear Experience of the Truth About Your Brother Or Your Sister, you behave in utterly loving ways. I said, “Behave.” I didn’t say, “Think.” I mean acts and words and deeds that embody the meaning of the words, “I love you.” That’s glorifying God. Because at the bottom line the experience is … the Experience of Truth is one of remembering God when you look in your Brother’s eyes.

And so it’s in the saying, “I love you.” It’s in the behavior that embodies “I love you.” It’s in the attitude and feeling that conveys that you see the utter Infinite Value of your Brother that constitutes glorifying God.

So if you’re thinking about ending up sitting on a cloud strumming a harp, glorifying God by talking to God about God, forget it. If that’s what you think it is, you’re going to walk past your Brother every day and not recognize the fact that here’s your opportunity to glorify God. Here’s your opportunity to fulfill your Purpose For Being. And you’re missing the opportunity to wake up, because you don’t realize that glorifying God is not some string of religious words sung to religiously slanted music with pipe organs and instruments that are associated with and chord progressions that are associated with religious experience. It’s you blessing your Brother because you’re recognizing God in him, and then behaving accordingly.

Again …

The Holy Spirit does not see the body as you do because He knows the ONLY reality anything can have is the service it can render God on behalf of the function He has given it.

Now why on earth would we be talking about the only Reality anything can have or the only Reality something can have is the service it can render when it’s talking about the body, if indeed as so many believe, the Course is saying that the body doesn’t exist, that the body is illusion? No. That is, as you can see, not what the Course is saying. But the definition you’ve given to the body, misperceived from the vantage point of being an orphan, someone divorced from its Source, that is an illusion. And that perception does not exist as a fact, even though it blinds you most definitely from experiencing the Divinity, the Reality of What The Body Is.

Here it is and I’m going to say it again …

The Holy Spirit does not see the body as you do because He knows the ONLY reality anything can have is the service it can render God on behalf of the function He has given it.

Communication ENDS separation. Attack PROMOTES it.

Now listen to this.

The body is beautiful or ugly, holy or savage, helpful or harmful, according to the use to which it is put. And in the body of another you will SEE the use to which you have put yours.

If you are using your body for the purpose of attack, if you are using your body for the purpose of demeaning or minimizing the value of your Brother, you will find your Brother returning attack for attack. And you will see in his behavior exactly what you’ve been doing.

If the body becomes for you a means which you give to the Holy Spirit to use on behalf of union of the Sonship, you will not see anything physical except as what it is.

Again, a subtle thing here …

… you will not see anything physical except as what it is.

Spirit. You will not see anything that you have determined to be physical and not of God. You will see it As It Is—Spirit. Again, you will see the parts of the Kingdom of Heaven that you have determined to be a physical world and universe As It Is—the Kingdom of Heaven.

Again …

If the body becomes for you a means which you give to the Holy Spirit to use on behalf of union of the Sonship, you will not see anything physical except as what it is.

Except as What It Truly Is. You won’t see the misinterpretation of it anymore.

Use it for truth, and you will see it truly. MISUSE it, and you WILL misunderstand it because you have already done so BY misusing it. Interpret ANYTHING apart from the Holy Spirit, and you will mistrust it. This will lead you to hatred and attack AND LOSS OF PEACE.

Yet all loss comes only from your own misunderstanding. Loss of ANY kind is impossible.

Well, your bodies seem to age. They seem to become ill. They seem to be unstable. And there seems to be no security in it, no permanence to it. Well, that experience of it is nothing more than the perception you must have if you are not seeing What It Truly Is. If you’re thinking that it is just a physical organism from a sperm and an egg, you are misunderstanding What It Is. Because What It Is is the Visibility and Tangibility of your Individuality. And your Individuality is the Presence of God. And so your body is Divine, and it has a Divine Function.

And it’s Divine Function is Communication. Of what? Communication of the fact that you are discerning Truth, and extending to your Brother the Truth, the Divine Truth That You Know About Him, together with the Love that you cannot possibly lack, having the experience of What The Truth Of Your Brother Is. The Truth About Your Brother is irresistibly lovable. And you can’t … you just can’t avoid letting the Love that is arising within you from the Awareness of What He Truly Is from being extended to him, or extended to her, your Sister.

Loss of ANY kind is impossible. When you look upon a brother as a physical entity, HIS power and glory are lost TO YOU…

… you can’t possibly see his Divinity when you are seeing a physical entity there—a result of a sperm and an egg.

… HIS power and glory are lost TO YOU, and so are YOURS. You HAVE attacked him…

… why? Because you have withheld the acknowledgement of What He Truly Is. You’re insisting on seeing him according to the definitions that have been given to you that you have accepted and adopted since you forgot Who You Were. And so by withholding the acknowledgement of the Truth Of Him, but still trying to relate with him, you have no choice but to relate in terms of attack, in terms of demeaning What Is True About Him, because the expression of What Is True About Him will never come out of your mouth. Do you see? By never stating the Truth, by never communicating the Truth to your Brothers, but still relating to your Brothers, that relating must be a constant rehearsal of what isn’t true about your Brother. It’s that simple. And that is an attack.

“Oh, well. What do you expect? You know, you’re just a human being. What do you expect? You know, some brains are faultier than others. You know, what can you expect? Of course you’re going to behave the way you are. Of course you’re not going to have better experiences than you have. You know, you’re likely to be one of the people who will have Alzheimer’s and get it early. You know, what can you expect? You’re just a physical organism, you know.”

Or maybe not quite so bluntly negative. “Oh, I love you, you poor dear. And you know what? No matter what happens, I’ll be here for you. It’s gonna get rough, I know. But you know what? I’ll always be here for you. My love is undying for you. Right up to the last minute I’ll be with you!” [laughing] Isn’t that encouraging? [laughing] Doesn’t that give you a wonderful sense of enduring love and a real meaning of what can give you peace? See, it’s a friendlier thing to say, [laughing] but it’s depressing, isn’t it? Isn’t that an attack?

It’s an attack when you finally find out that there’s something else you can be doing instead. When you didn’t know there was anything else you could be doing instead, you were doing the best you could under poor circumstances. And yes, it was loving kindness that was being expressed, but it’s not your Birthright to deteriorate and die. And therefore, you need someone who will stand with you in the horribleness of what life turns out to be because your Birthright is to be experiencing What You Divinely Are, the Eternality of Life, the ever-present Vitality of Life, together with the experience of the awesomeness of every little Aspect of Creation that is thrilling and invigorating, and which causes you to have an unchallengeable experience of the worth and value of all Existence. This is your Birthright. And this is what needs to be communicated to your Brothers and Sisters. And this is not attack.

Again …

When you look upon a brother as a physical entity, HIS power and glory are lost TO YOU, and so are YOURS. You HAVE attacked him, but you MUST have attacked yourself first.

You must have demeaned yourself first. You must have defined yourself and accepted the definition as being something less than What You Truly Are.

Do not see him this way for your OWN salvation, which must bring him HIS. Do not allow him to belittle himself in YOUR mind, but give him freedom from his belief in littleness, and thus escape from YOURS.

To have, give all to all. Give in order to have. What you give away, you make yours. Over and over again this lesson.

As part of you, HE is holy. As part of me, YOU are. To communicate with part of God Himself is to reach beyond the Kingdom to its Creator, through His Voice Which He has established as part of YOU.

In other words, you reach to God in your Brother. You reach to God in your Brother with the Love that God is revealing to you. And thus you have what I will call a circular completion of communication. God recognizing Himself. God communicating to Himself All That He Is, and nothing but What He Is.

To communicate with part of God …

… your Brother …

… Himself is to reach beyond the Kingdom to its Creator, through His Voice Which He has established as part of YOU.

Rejoice, then, that of yourselves you can do nothing. You are not OF yourselves.

Yet that’s the definition the ego gives you. “You are of yourself. You have created yourself. You are here to make something out of yourself. You are here through your … you are here to become something that you choose to be through the exercise of your will. You are of yourself and there is nothing else. And you know what? There doesn’t need to be anything else. You are sufficient. And you can make of yourself whatever you will. The sky is yours. You don’t need anybody else. You don’t need anybody else. You are sufficient unto yourself.” And it tells you this, and tells you this, and tells you this. If you’re not careful, you believe it.

Rejoice, then, that of yourselves you can do nothing. You are not OF yourselves. He of Whom you ARE has willed your power and glory FOR you, with which you can perfectly accomplish His holy Will for you, when you so will it yourself.

When you say, “Okay, Father,” instead of saying, “But, Father, I’d rather do it myself.”

“Okay, Father, I will accept you as my Source so that I might remember Who I Am as the Expression Of You, and so that I might have the fullness of the Experience of the Truth Of Me, and not experience false imprisonment any longer.”

He …

… God …

… has not withdrawn His gifts from you, but YOU have withdrawn them from Him. Let no Son of God remain hidden for His Name’s sake, because His Name is YOURS.

Let no Son of God remain hidden from you. When you look at your Brothers and Sisters, do not let the Son of God that he is remain hidden from you because you’re insisting on, like pin the tail on the donkey, pinning a false identification on him that’s been determined by you to be what that one is. Don’t cover up God with your favorite preconception of your Brother or Sister.

Remember that the Bible says, “The Word (or thought) was made flesh.” Strictly speaking this is impossible, since it seems to involve the translation of one order of reality into another. Different orders of reality merely APPEAR to exist, just as different orders of miracles do. Thought cannot be made into flesh except by belief, since thought is NOT physical. Yet thought IS communication, for which the body CAN be used. This is the only NATURAL use to which it CAN be put.

So when it says, “The Word was made flesh,” you can understand it to mean: “The Word was made communication. The Word is a Movement of Communication. And the means of Communication is the body. God’s means of communicating What He Is to Himself is called the Kingdom of Heaven. And It looks like Something. And It’s experienceable as Something to God.”

And the ego calls the substance of it “matter.” But the Truth is that the Substance of the Infinite Forms of Creation is Spirit. So you could say, “The Word is made communicable, identifiable, experienceable.” That’s the True Meaning of, “The Word was made flesh.”

Thought cannot be made into flesh except by belief, since thought is NOT physical. Yet thought IS communication, for which the body CAN be used.

For which the Visibility and Tangibility of the Idea or Thought can be used.

This is the only NATURAL use to which it CAN be put.

And that’s because that is What Its Function Is. What you call a rose has the appearance it has because it perfectly identifies the Function of communicating the Meaning the Father is embodying in that form. You see?

To use the body unnaturally …

… in other words, for attack. And self-defense is attack.

To use the body unnaturally is to lose sight of the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and thus to confuse the goal of His curriculum.

Now what’s the goal of the Holy Spirit’s Curriculum? What is the Holy Spirit? Nothing more than your Right Mind. What is the goal of the Curriculum of your Right Mind? It’s to return your Sanity to you so that you’re experiencing nothing other than your Right Mind. And you become once again fully integrated with What You Already Are, but which you aren’t experiencing fully because you’ve cordoned off a little section of it and you’ve said, “This little part is me and all the Rest Of Me is not me.” And when that happened, all the Rest Of You got a new name—the Holy Spirit—which remains there with one goal on its agenda, and that is to break down the boundary which you have created to cordon yourself off, separate yourself off, from the Rest Of You.

To use the body unnaturally is to lose sight of the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and thus to confuse the goal of His curriculum.

There is nothing so frustrating to a learner as to be placed in a curriculum which he cannot learn. His sense of adequacy suffers, and he MUST become depressed.

Well, what might this be referring to? Well, remember there are two teachers—the Voice for Truth and the voice for fear—the Holy Spirit and the ego. The ego puts you in a learning situation which can’t be accomplished. And so it puts you … calls you a learner and it gives you something you cannot learn. You really can’t learn that you’re an independent, self-governing, self-created and self-creating entity. You cannot learn that because it isn’t true.

There is nothing so frustrating to a learner as to be placed in a curriculum which he cannot learn. His sense of adequacy suffers, and he MUST become depressed.

And you know what? That is called the human condition. That is what life is when you’re not awake. That’s what you’re in the middle of, or beginning to emerge from.

Being faced with an impossible learning situation, regardless of why it is impossible…

… why is that in there, “regardless of why it is impossible”? Because the ego [laughing] can tell you all kinds of reasons, it can distract you by providing you with all kinds of justifications for not seeking God, for not waking up.

Being faced with an impossible learning situation, regardless of why it is impossible, is the most depressing thing in the world.

You see, you don’t want to get sidetracked on discovering all of the reasons why it’s impossible.

In fact, it is ultimately WHY the world is depressing. The Holy Spirit’s curriculum is NEVER depressing because it is a curriculum of joy. Whenever the reaction to learning is depression, it is only because the goal of the curriculum has been lost sight of.

The purpose of everything I’m doing and the purpose of the Course is to re-illuminate the goal, and to re-illuminate the means of accomplishing the goal. The goal is for you to wake up, to come back into your Right Mind. And the means of doing that is breaking the isolation and the treasured concept of autonomy and authority, independent authority, so that what? You might be willing to release yourself into that which you don’t know, so that you might express curiosity that reaches beyond the boundaries of the thought system you’re in. So that you might reach beyond the boundaries of the structures that have been created that hold your prison in place and give you a false sense of comfort in a place that’s not your Home.

Like it says here:

Being faced with an impossible learning situation, regardless of why it is impossible, is the most depressing thing in the world.

Regardless of why it’s impossible. Don’t begin to ask yourself, “Well, how did I get into this situation? How did I get to be in this impossible situation? How could I possibly have gotten that screwed up if I was the Christ, the Son or Daughter of God, to begin with?” It doesn’t matter! Why doesn’t it matter? Because you’re not in it. You’re not in an impossible learning situation. You are the Son or Daughter of God in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven who has the means, through desire not to be alone, to reconnect, for lack of better words, the disintegrated parts of yourself.

It depends entirely on which teacher you’re listening to whether you experience yourself as being in an impossible learning situation or not. So don’t ask yourself, “How did I get into this impossible learning situation?” You didn’t. You’re not in it. But you’re listening to a teacher who is describing to you an impossible learning situation and inviting you to take the course. There’s another Teacher. And you can reach out for the other Teacher. You see what I’m saying?

Okay. A lot of meat tonight. Last week was comforting. Tonight is meat/potatoes night and that doesn’t mean you need to have indigestion. I look forward to being with you next week.

  1. T8.5 The Power of Joint Decision ↩︎

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