Jan 15, 2006
T11.3 The Investment in Reality

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

Well, I hope you didn’t have too offensive a week, you know, having to take a look at when you were taking offense at things. It was a worthy endeavor, and it will continue to be a worthy endeavor.

I’m sure you found that there were many, many different kinds of occasions which gave rise to offense, and not all of them really bad. I mean, if a mate or a lover comes up feeling truly affectionate, extending love, but he or she does it just as you sat down to do something you had been waiting all week to do, it can be offensive. “This is not the time. Don’t you care about me?” [laughing] Even though “caring about you” is what’s being expressed. “Don’t you care about my wants? I’ve been waiting to do this. I’ve been putting this off all week because I have been being loving to you.” You see? So not all occasions for offense arise out of calls for love—meaning behavior that isn’t loving but at the bottom line is a call for love.

So it boils down to, as I said, the question, “Why are you choosing to employ offense at that particular moment? What is the self-serving benefit you are trying to achieve?”

Well, you may have noticed that there are some days where something offends you that wouldn’t offend you at all on another day. And you chalk it up to, “Well, I’ve had more sleep. I’m more rested. I was a little on edge and exhausted yesterday, or the day before.” You find some reason for the difference, except it’s never the real reason. The real reason that you’re less offended or not offended at all on certain days is because on those days you have chosen for and valued your peace more than anything else. And having valued it, you have placed yourself in it. You have allowed it to be the presence, the underlying spectrum of the way you’re looking at everything.

Now I’m going to carry it a bit further. You always are only faced with two choices, two apparent ways to be. One choice is to choose to listen to the Voice for Truth, and the other is to choose to listen to the voice for fear. Okay, now we can take that and redefine it—because that’s still very general—and we can redefine the Voice for Truth as the Holy Spirit, and we can redefine the voice for fear as the ego. This can still be confusing though, because you can envision them as “things” different from you, and you can either listen to this thing or you can listen to that thing, and you are something separate from both.

But the fact is, as we’ve been discussing, the Voice for Truth, which is the Holy Spirit, is what? Nothing more than your right Mind. Well, likewise the voice for fear, which is the ego, is nothing more than the sense of mind you have made up and identified as yourself, constituted with definitions that you likewise have made up, and agreements about definitions that you have entered into with others who are choosing to operate from the standpoint of a made-up mind themselves.

So the ego is you, you might say, in your wrong mind, and the Holy Spirit is you in your right Mind, except—let’s be clear—the “wrong mind” isn’t really a mind at all. It’s just a collection of ideas that you say, “Well, these ideas … ”—which it happens aren’t true at all or real, but—“ … these ideas I am experiencing, and therefore they must be going on in a mind, because I’m conscious of them and they are going on, and therefore they must be going on in my private, personal mind.” You see? So you’ve made this up and you believe it; except that it’s all nonsense. The fact that you believe it, however, means that you make an investment in everything that you’ve made up. And your investment you work diligently at, so as to make this sense of mind more and more real. And you have to work at making it real because it is pure fantasy and never will be anything more.

So, if things get confusing to you as you’re thinking about all of the things we’ve discussed and everything that the Course has to say, if things seems to get too complex and too overwhelming, remind yourself, remember, you only have two choices available to you in the state of Being. And these two choices are the Voice for Truth, or the voice for fear.

The Voice for Truth is your right Mind, which is perfectly cohesive, perfectly integrated, perfectly singular, perfectly indivisible, but all-inclusive. And the voice for fear is a conglomeration of definitions that you have put together which is no mind at all, but with the investment of your faith in it, it seems to be real. The Voice for Truth, which is you minus the appendage of an imagined mind, are perfectly clear, are perfectly at peace, are perfectly able to see everything that is going on, everything that confronts you as God appearing, and nothing less. But when you’re giving your allegiance to this appendage, this imagined appendage, it causes everything that you experience to be offensive, to be that which calls for you to constantly be in a state of defense, ready to be offended, ready to magnify the differences between you and everything else.

So we’re still talking about getting your own mind straight, getting your own head on straight, before entering into the, let’s say, arena of being an agent for change for your Brother. Being aware of when you are offended and examining why it is you’re choosing to be offended, is a form of mental discipline that will enable you to catch yourself before you express the offensiveness and choose for the other voice, choose for the other teacher, so as not to seem to reinforce the appendage, but to, rather, allow that which is your Real Mind to fulfill itself as you right where you are, in that moment, in that place, in that circumstance.

Okay, let’s go to the book. The next section is called:

The Investment in Reality1

Hmm. [flipping through pages in the book] I don’t see anything here coming up that talks about … [flipping through more pages in the book] note we have “The Sane Curriculum” coming up, that sounds pretty good—nothing here though about the investment in offense; nothing about investment in all the wonderful things you’ve made up. Hmm. Interesting.

Okay.

I once asked if you were willing to sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me.

Now we really could put these in a different order that would reflect the truth a little bit better. And indeed, it is what I meant when I said it the first time, but I’ve been saying it over and over in every encounter I’ve had with any of you. It could say:

I once asked if you were willing to follow me. In other words, abandon your independence and yield to something other than your so-called private authority and sell all you have. Meaning abandon all of the definitions you’ve made up, all the confidences you have about what everything is and what it’s for and who you are.

And, thirdly, give to the poor. In other words, shift from getting to giving.

And indeed, all of you, I know, would love to get to the “giving to the poor” part. That’s the fun part, right? Selling all you have, following me, that’s not the fun part, but, oh boy, giving to the poor. See, the ego, the way you’re conditioned, the way you have conditioned yourself to think, and the way everyone else has helped condition you to think, is that you and someone else are different. And of course, it’s better if you’re in a position to “give to the others” than to “have to receive from others.” Right? Nothing quite so insulting as to be the one who is “in need.”

Well, it’s going to be disappointing for you, because in the process of getting your head on straight, you’re going to arrive at the awareness that “there aren’t really any poor.” And the recognition that “there aren’t any poor” is the gift you give.

But it’s already given in the recognition. You don’t have a recognition that then allows you to still have poor to give to. The reason you arrive at a point of recognizing there aren’t any poor to give—out of your great beneficence—to, is because you discover that you and your Brother are both the Christ already, and you insist upon operating from that standpoint. And so you end up being in a position of relating to your Brother in acknowledgment of What He Is—not in illuminating What He Is to what he isn’t. In other words, the transaction, the communion is complete in the recognition of What He Is, the acknowledgment of What He Is, because you had no other agenda on your mind for yourself, or for him, than to see God there from God’s eyes.

So don’t jump to the conclusion that, oh boy, now we’re coming to the part here about helping the poor, about being agent for change for my Brother. No, we’re still at the point of getting your heads on straight.

I once asked if you were willing to sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me. This is what I meant: If you had no investment in anything in this world, you could teach the poor where their treasure IS.

What’s that mean, “if you had no investment in anything in this world”? The only thing you could have investment in, in this world, are the definitions that you have made up about it which have caused you to be quote “like God” unquote, and given you in your independence a credibility that you don’t really have. If you had no investment in any of the definitions you applied to this world, what? You would be free of your bondage to those definitions. And that would free you up from the definition you have of yourself. And what? A miracle could happen. A sudden shift of perception could happen in you.

If you had no investment in anything in this world, you could teach the poor where their treasure IS.

Why? Because you would have found where your treasure was.

The poor are merely those who have invested wrongly, and they are poor indeed!

They’re without a Birthright, aren’t they? Every one of you is experiencing existing minus your Birthright. Why? Because you do not believe you are the direct expression of God. You do not believe that you have a Source outside of yourself, I’ll put that way, a Source other than your own best ideas about yourself or a source that is purely physical and organismic, like coming from a sperm and an egg. And not knowing who your Father is, not knowing what your Source is, you don’t know what your Birthright is and you don’t know What You Are. And that is, indeed, poor. Without your Birthright, you are nothing.

The poor are merely those who have invested wrongly, and they are poor indeed!

The orphans, [said in a pitying voice] new orphans are merely those who have no Father and are without a Birthright.

Okay.

Because they are in need it is given you to help them, since YOU are among them.

Now it is given you to help them as you are abandoning your devotion to your orphanhood and are letting God back in, and are choosing to join with the Holy Spirit and to abandon your absolute, but imaginary, authority over your life and over your world. Because those who confront you who don’t know of their Birthright are in need, it is given you to help them since you are among them. You see, don’t leave it up to God. Don’t leave it up to the Holy Spirit. Don’t leave it up to somebody else. You’re here. You’re here to make the gift of the clarity you are letting in. You’re here to be what you will be when you aren’t finding value in offense.

Consider how perfectly your lesson would be learned if you were unwilling to SHARE their poverty.

Let me give you an example. Every time Paul sits down at a Gathering, he turns to me. He doesn’t turn to you. He doesn’t look to you to learn of you or of life. He turns to me. He doesn’t turn to himself. He abandons this one he thinks he is; this one with all the definitions that he uses when he’s not joined, when he thinks he’s alone, and when he thinks he’s in that marvelous egotistical position of authority. You see? And so he turns to me, and with me he is present with you. When any of you asks a question, he does not assume that he is supposed to answer it. He doesn’t assume that you’re asking him. And he listens to me respond.

Now when you turn to your right Mind and ask, you get the same answers. And you’re not making them up. You see? And you’re more interested, you’re more devoted to the unity of awareness that you experience when you are listening for the Truth from your right Mind. And if you can’t quite make that come together and happen, then go ahead and say that you are listening to the Holy Spirit, because you do not place any limits conceptually on the Holy Spirit.

No matter what words any of you use to ask your questions, your words express your ignorance. They do not express clarity, no matter how clearly you express them, no matter how intelligently you put together the meaning you’re trying to convey so that you might get out of a problem. So it would be foolish for Paul to listen to you and the words you are saying in order to grasp what you’re trying to mean. But your meaning is there. You are expressing words about a distress you’re having. But at the bottom line what you’re saying is, “Here is the way it is looking to me, and I do not know how to look at it or see it differently. Can you help me see it differently?” You don’t say that because you want the answer to specifically address the problem “as you see it” and what the solution will have to be in order to be a solution. And so you’re still caught in the tininess of your mindset. You see?

So, is Paul going to shift his devotion, his attention, to what you’re saying, and his best interpretation of what you’re meaning? Is he going to honor you enough to be so present with you that he doesn’t bother to join with me? No. That’s not the way Paul works. The devotion has to remain with That which is Singular, That which is Awake, That which knows the Truth, in order to speak/communicate/extend the awareness that undoes the confusion that “you asking the question” have expressed, so that you are no longer confused.

Now let’s say that Paul has done a weekend workshop, been active for two full days participating in the “question and answer” process that goes on. And at the end of the second day, it’s over, but early the next morning someone who is attending the Gathering is still there and comes up and says, “Can I just ask one more question? I have a really, really important question.” And Paul says in his mind, “God, give a break. I mean, don’t you have any respect for me? Don’t you think I deserve any time for myself?” You see? Uh, oh. Offense! Offense! Offense!

Paul obviously is not joined any longer. Paul is there in his own full-blown right. And what is he engaged in? Self-protection. “Oh, don’t get too close and don’t ask too much of me. Give me a break. Don’t ask for me to be fully conscious. Don’t ask for me to be in that place where [small laugh] everything flows and everything is wonderful, and transformation occurs and healing occurs. Don’t ask me to be there. Stand back, you who are different from me but weren’t different from me yesterday.”

You see? When he does that or when you do it with each other, you’re both coming from the place of poverty. You’re both coming from the place where you’re minus your Birthright. And you confirm your poverty to each other.

Consider …

Again …

Consider how perfectly your lesson would be learned if you were unwilling to SHARE their poverty.

And by sharing it, confirm it.

Consider how perfectly your lesson would be learned if you were willing to find no occasion to not fulfill your function, which is to recognize God there, and not suffer from seeing less than God there.

See, again …

Consider how perfectly …

… whose lesson?

… your lesson …

… we’re talking about someone else seeming to have a problem and needing help and asking for help, expressing their poverty.

But it says:

Consider how perfectly your lesson …

… you see, we’re still talking about getting your own head on straight.

Consider how perfectly your lesson would be learned if you were unwilling to SHARE their poverty.

In other words, if you were unwilling to abandon your union with the Voice for Truth. How beautifully would your lesson be learned if you found no occasion worthy of shutting your ears to the Voice for Truth, to your right Mind. That would be a grand lesson because it would mean you would be moving into the Integrity of your Being, the Wholeness of your Being, the Holiness of your Being, and finding no reason to be fascinated with anything less.

For poverty is lack, and there is but ONE lack …

… It’s the absence of your Birthright. That’s the only lack there is. And what is your Birthright? It’s your inheritance from your Source.

“Oh. But I’ve spent lifetimes developing my capacity to be my source. And you want me to abandon all of that? You’re telling me it’s nothing but a bunch of illusions? You want me to abandon that? You’re going to have to give me a pretty good reason.” Well, the only reason I can give you is your experience of life right now. Is it full of glory? Is it full of peace? Is it full of abundance, wholeness, invulnerability? Or is it far less than that? Now if it being far less than that, is of no concern to you, fine. Okay. But I’ll be here once you find it to be less than you want.

For poverty is lack, and there is but ONE lack since there is but ONE need.

What’s the one need? It’s for the phone to ring, and God to pick up the phone and hear you say, “Hello. Dad? Hi, Dad. I remember You. I know who You are and I know Who I am, and I’m yours. And I know I’m not You, but I know that You are All There Is of me. And I want to be the way things are with You from now on.” That’s the one need. Annul the divorce. That’s the one need.

Now …

Suppose a brother insists on having you do something you think you do not want to do.

“Hi, sweetheart. Give me a hug. I just love you so much.”

“Oh, come on. I just sat down to get to work on this thing I haven’t attended to for a week because I was taking care of you so much.”

Suppose a brother insists on having you do something you think you do not want to do.

“Oh, come on, honey. You can do it later. Just spend ten or fifteen minutes with me.”

“Come on. You can’t get blood from a turnip. You can’t get water from a stone. Let me just do this. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting.”

“Oh, come on, honey. Come on. I promise if you spend fifteen or twenty minutes with me, I won’t bother you.”

Suppose a brother insists on having you do something you think you do not want to do. The very fact of his insistence should tell you that he believes salvation lies in it.

In other words, if there is inflexibility there, it means that there’s a strong intent and that in some way salvation or real good will come of it.

Now …

If you insist on refusing …

… if you insist on refusing …

… and experience a quick response of opposition…

… and I’m going to add: Within yourself …

… you are believing that YOUR salvation lies in NOT doing it.

And you can understand, at that moment you think your salvation lies in getting to do this thing you’ve been waiting to do all week. And there’s more good in that for you to experience than the alternative that’s being offered.

You, then, are making the same mistake that he is, and are making his error real to BOTH of you.

Now, what’s the error that you’re making real? The error that you’re making real is that you not in your right Mind, you not in a joined place, have agendas that are real, and which if they are fulfilled or if they are brought to completion, will constitute fulfillment for you as an independent agent. And so you are by your act confirming your independence, your orphanhood, and also confirming the independence and orphanhood of the one who’s inviting you to spend a little time engaging in affection.

You, then, are making the same mistake that he is, and are making his error real to BOTH of you. Insistence means investment, and what you invest in is ALWAYS related to your notion of salvation. The question is always two-fold; first, WHAT is to be saved, and second, HOW can it be saved?

Now again, to simplify things, remember that you only have two apparent ways in which to be; two choices. One is to listen for, to listen to, to join with the Voice for Truth, or to listen to the voice for fear. The answer to “What is to be saved, and how can it be saved?” will be different depending upon which of the two voices you’re choosing to listen to.

If you’re listening to the voice for fear, what is to be saved is your pride. What is to be saved is your ass. What is to be saved is your face. What is to be saved is your position—the position you have defined for yourself and that you have spent your life trying to get other people to agree to and cooperate with. And how can it be saved? By asserting this so-called private authority with superiority so as to overcome the other’s attempt to meet his or her need, and save his or her face, his or her pride, his or her feelings of worthiness.

But if you’re listening to the Voice for Truth, what is to be saved? What is to be confirmed? The endless, uninterrupted movement and expression of Love that is not self-seeking, but embraces all forever without hesitation or reservation. What is to be saved is the infinite way things work, the beautiful way things work, that do not fit definitions, but are themselves that which give meaning to God; that which embody meanings that God is expressing and being; that which discloses, uncovers and illuminates the glory of what God is, what Good is.

So the answers are different depending upon the voice you are choosing to listen to.

Continuing …

Whenever you become angry with a brother…

Oh, wait a minute. Who is this you? Well, if the word “angry” is in there, it is obviously the independent one, the so-called independent one; the one who authorizes things with glee.

Whenever you become angry with a brother, for WHATEVER reason, you are believing that the EGO is to be saved…

… and specifically your ego …

… and to be saved by ATTACK.

In other words, by means of offense. Wow.

If HE …

… your brother …

… attacks you are agreeing with this belief, and if YOU attack you are reinforcing it.

And you’re both caught in the illusion and you’re both confirming a lie. You’re both confirming a dream. And you’re both stuck in it, even though “you” are not really in it at all, because you haven’t stopped being the Christ. You’ve just forgotten that you are the Christ.

REMEMBER THAT THOSE WHO ATTACK ARE POOR.

In other words, minus their Birthright, minus the conscious awareness of who and what they are because of what their Source, their Father is.

Their poverty asks for gifts, NOT for further impoverishment.

Their poverty asks for you not to come from the same place they’re coming from which will confirm their poorness, their poverty. That’s why you’re taught, you’re told, that you’re faced with one of two things—Love, or the call for love—so that you might remember that poor behavior is not something for you to personally react to, but for you to be able to, from a joined place, respond with love for. You’re to remember that the poor behavior is not an attempt to control private, personal, authoritative, little you, or to hurt your feelings, but it is a call for release from the misunderstanding, the misperceptions that are causing the poor behavior to be expressed.

Their poverty asks for gifts…

… that which will replace the poverty, that which will uncover the fact that the poverty is illegitimate; which they can’t see at the moment and which they’re being crushed by.

Their poverty asks for gifts, NOT for further impoverishment. You who could help them are surely acting destructively if you accept their poverty as YOURS.

Like the Monday morning after a weekend Gathering, somebody walks up and asks for one extra question of me through Paul. They’re expressing a need. They are sharing their experience of poverty. And if Paul says, “I’m sorry, but I deserve some time off,” he’s responding from his poverty, and both are impoverished more.

You are surely …

You who could help them are surely acting destructively if you accept their poverty as YOURS. If you had not invested as THEY had, it would never occur to you to overlook their need.

Well, the ego’s retort is, “What do you mean, overlook their need? What about me overlooking my need? I need some rest from being on the ball. I need some rest from being clear. I need some time to do things I want to do, like sleep in, not be at the beck and call of everything.”

Why, friends, the whole Universe, all of Creation calls to you at this moment to see it for what it is. And from your tininess, you think, “Oh. Overwhelming. Universal demands are being made upon me.” Yes, to come back into your right Mind and enjoy the effortless, natural experience of being able to recognize God in everything, and rejoice in the experience, without reservation, without limitation, as your daily conscious experience.

Now we come to a sentence that is greatly misinterpreted.

Recognize WHAT DOES NOT MATTER, and if your brothers ask you for something “outrageous,” do it BECAUSE it does not matter.

And I’ll tell you that very often that sentence is taken and responded with, “Well, of course, the whole world is an illusion. If my Brother asks me to do something outrageous, like sit in the car outside the Seven Eleven with the engine running while he goes in and picks up a little extra cash. Hey, of course, it’s outrageous but, hey, the whole world is an illusion anyway. It doesn’t matter.”

I’m going to come back to our illustration of when Paul is as he is right now with you, but being with you from his union with me. When you say something like, “Sit in the car outside the Seven Eleven while I pick up a little extra cash,” which is another way of saying, “Help me find a way to screw my fellowman out of a few extra dollars by striking a really good deal, a really good business deal here, Raj,” [small laugh] Paul has to make a distinction between what matters and what doesn’t matter.

And what doesn’t matter is what you’re saying. What doesn’t matter is how you’re saying it. What doesn’t matter is whether what you’re saying makes any sense or not. What matters is that you’re feeling a need and you need to be free of it, and for him not to be fazed by the experience of need that you’re talking about, and to stay with me where the answer is—whatever it might be, however unexpected it might be to you, however far from the subject “the answer that relieves” might seem to be from the question that was asked. You see?

So Paul has to recognize what does not matter. And if you ask for something outrageous, do it. Do what? Respond from the place of Wholeness, respond from the union with me, respond from the union with the Holy Spirit, because that’s what does matter, because what’s happening is not what appears to be happening. What’s happening is a call for love.

It seems to say, “Please recognize the seriousness and the reality of my dilemma. And please give me the answer within the context of my dilemma and within the context of the mutually-agreed definitions about how things work in this particular arena of activity that I’m engaged in.” In other words, “Answer my question from within the box I’m in.”

That question doesn’t matter. If Paul tries to make it matter, he will not be able to hear me, and he will not be able to hear the answer that negates the question by replacing it with what works, by replacing it with the way things Are, in which the experience of need is not real and doesn’t actually exist, so that a shift of perception can occur. And “you who are asking the question” find yourself free of the dilemma because you have clarity from Wholeness.

Recognize WHAT DOES NOT MATTER, and if your brothers ask you for something “outrageous,” do it BECAUSE it does not matter. Refuse, and your opposition establishes that it DOES matter to you.

Now who would refuse? Not someone joined. The one who would refuse is one who is likewise caught up in his or her own sense of independence and authority, and thereby, necessarily a need for self-protection.

Refuse, and your opposition establishes that it DOES matter to you.

In other words, that “what doesn’t matter” does matter to you.

The moment Paul begins to feel empathy for “the person” asking the question, “the person” experiencing the dilemma, he loses the connection with me and immediately feels his own personal incapacity to respond, and as a result, goes into a state of self-protection. And usually the state of self-protection involves a string of judgments that can explain just exactly to the person with the problem why they’re having the problem. But this solves nothing. It’s not an answer. It’s a way of dealing with the situation so as to bring the interaction to an end swiftly, so that the discomfort of being confronted with an inability to have the answer can come to an end, and Paul, or you, or anyone else, can get on with something a little more pleasant than the close-up awareness of an incapacity to be the answer all by yourself. And thus, Paul or you, and whoever else is involved, are further impoverished, because a declaration, an insistence has been expressed that seals the problem, solidifies it more solidly.

It is only YOU, therefore, who have made the request outrageous…

You see? The fellow who’s been being loving all week and is finally getting to the thing he’s been looking forward to doing for himself all week, finds his partner’s request for a little loving attention and for him to be the recipient of affection, he finds that to be outrageous. Outrageous. Offensive.

It is only YOU, therefore, who have made the request outrageous…

… you see? But not the Divine One that you are. The one listening to the voice for fear—the ego—and who is engaged in selfishness.

It is only YOU, therefore, who have made the request outrageous, for nothing can BE asked of you…

… what does that mean? You might understand it better, because I know you can see that Paul does not think anything is being asked “of him” by virtue of your being here eager to hear. But if things go normally, ten minutes after this meeting is over, if you come to ask Paul a question, he will think you’re asking it of him, and he may or may not be happy about answering it. But nothing can be asked of him, even though all of you find yourself appearing to be “asked of.” But it will only look that way and be experienced that way by you if you are not joined, if you’re not connecting with your Birthright.

Again …

It is only YOU, therefore, who have made the request outrageous, for nothing can BE asked of you, and every request of a brother is for YOU.

I just told you a moment ago that everything in Creation looks to you for the recognition of God in it. All your Brother can be is present “for” you, whether he’s whining or whether he’s laughing with joy. Because what’s really there is part of Creation inviting you to see what it really is—to find God there—which you have to make a choice to see. And you make the choice to see it by choosing which teacher, which voice, you’re listening to. “Holy Spirit, what is really happening here? What is God’s Truth here? What is God being here?”

Again …

It is only YOU, therefore, who have made the request …

… any request …

… outrageous, for nothing can BE asked of you, and every request of a brother is for YOU.

It’s on your behalf. It’s asking you to reflect back what they aren’t able to see yet that is causing them to feel lack.

Have you ever heard anyone who says, “Well, I know this is exactly the way things are,” or who speaks in declarative sentences, who later you find out was using that form of speech as a question—which had never occurred to you was a question until perhaps someone else says, “Well, you know, this is the way I have experienced what you’re talking about, and it’s a little bit different from what you’re saying,” and after this different view has been expressed, the person who had made this declarative pronouncement says, “I really appreciate that because it never occurred to me to look at it that way before. Thank you.” You had come to the conclusion that the declaration was a final pronouncement, a firm position. And it wasn’t. It was a way of opening up a conversation that lacked any invitation to it because it was made as a statement, as a declaration. You see?

Again …

It is only YOU, therefore, who have made the request outrageous, for nothing can BE asked of you, and every request of a brother is for YOU. Why would you insist in DENYING him? For to do so is to deny yourself and impoverish both.

Now I’ve gone over that so many times, it’s got to be clear to you.

HE …

… here it is.

HE is asking for salvation, as YOU are.

“Well, it sure didn’t sound like he was asking for salvation to me. Sounded to me like he was making an absolute pronouncement of the immovability of a problem he was in that there was no way out of.” No. Gotta use the art of contrary thinking. It’s either love or a call for love.

HE is asking for salvation, as YOU are. Poverty is of the ego…

… something which doesn’t even exist, and none of you should be laboring under the domination of.

Poverty is of the ego, and NEVER of God.

In other words, poverty is of the voice for fear, and never of the Voice for Truth.

No “outrageous” requests can be made of one who recognizes what is valuable and wants to accept nothing else.

Now there are times in Gatherings when people speak to me in a challenging or obtuse way, and Paul may cringe a little bit and have to take a moment to once again join with me, because that’s the only thing that matters; not the manner in which the question was asked; not the challenging words that were used in the way the question was asked. That doesn’t matter. And he takes the time to get back to what matters, and then that which clarifies comes forth. He recognizes what is valuable and wants to accept nothing else.

Salvation …

… why are we talking about salvation? Because your Brother is asking for salvation, no matter what he says or how he behaves, just as you are.

Salvation is for the mind, and it is attained through …

… what?

… peace.

The ego is incapable of being at peace or of experiencing peace. The only peace it can ever seem to arrive at is drug-induced—or ultimately unconsciousness—or ulta-ultimately death.

Salvation is for the mind, and it is attained through peace. This is the ONLY thing that can be saved …

See, we had up at the top of the page here:

The question is always two-fold; first, WHAT is to be saved, and second, HOW can it be saved?

Salvation is for the mind, and it is attained through peace. This is the ONLY thing that can be saved and the ONLY way to save it. Any response OTHER than love arises from a confusion about the “what” and the “how” of salvation, and this is the ONLY answer. Never lose sight of this…

You see? Still talking about getting your own head on straight.

You …

Never lose sight of this, and never allow yourself to believe, even for an instant, that there IS another answer.

Well, you already do believe there is another answer, but you’ve got to start disbelieving it. And the other answer you think there is, is the one you can come with all by yourself. And sometimes the answer is to shut your Brother up and be relieved of the problem, so that you can have some peace to do some irrelevant thing you want to do. Irrelevant because it’s private; it’s exclusive; it doesn’t embrace; it doesn’t involve.

Never lose sight of this, and never allow yourself to believe, even for an instant, that there IS another answer.

And so when I’ve said, during the week, watch for the times when you are offended, it’s to help you see that here is an instant—where offense is not an appropriate “other answer”—to be enjoined and to be in your peace.

For you will surely place yourself among the poor, who do not understand that they dwell in abundance and that salvation is come.

You can’t teach what you haven’t learned. You can’t grace your Brother with help that you haven’t incorporated. And I promise you that every bit of work you do, so to speak, every bit of diligence you bring to your week of watching the use to which you’re putting your mind so that it isn’t willy-nilly running in consonance with the voice for fear, will bring you into better alignment with your Real Nature and your Real Mind and your Real Being. And as you do that, you lessen the density of the mutual agreement, you lessen the density of the dream, and it does help your Brother.

But for now, helping your Brother starts with you. And it starts with you doing that which spontaneously precipitates sudden shifts of perception that change you forever.

Another “meat and potatoes” evening.

I have enjoyed being with you. And I look forward to being with you all next week. Have an unoffended week.

  1. T11.3 The Investment in Reality ↩︎

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