May 20, 2006
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
Interesting. Paul’s announcement last week of a need was met with a full spectrum of responses, from outpouring of love and contributions to expressions of appreciation for everything that he does, that we do, to outright expressions of criticism and judgment, meanly expressed.
A month or so ago, when I put an announcement on The Gathering Place, there were likewise similar responses. And one of the individuals who made a gift expressed the concern, or the caring, that she hoped we wouldn’t have this problem again—in other words, that we wouldn’t persist in having to ask for help, to be in that uncomfortable position.
You know what? None of you likes the word “need.” N-E-E-D, need. It’s almost worse than the four letter word Paul doesn’t like to use. It’s easy to let a word like that roll off your lips if you’re upset, but to experience need is something all of you avoid like the plague. And to see someone else in need makes you equally uncomfortable.
Many say, “Well, if Raj is really Jesus, he could meet Paul’s need. He could just wave his hand and like the loaves and fishes that appeared to feed 5000, all the needs of the foundation could be met, and Paul wouldn’t be in this uncomfortable position.” [Chuckling] But, what you don’t realize is that I am answering, I am addressing the issue, except that you don’t like the answer.
What do you think it means to read in the Course about looking into your brother’s eyes and remembering God? You know, it has a nice feel to it doesn’t it? But it’s something far more than just something nice. What that idea is expressing is that without your brother, you would not have the means of remembering God.
Having a brother with eyes to look into, you have the means for remembering God. Why? Because with a brother with eyes to look into, you can have an object of your affection. You have the fundamental necessity to “relationship.” Ah-h, relationship. That means not being alone, doesn’t it? That means involvement, doesn’t it? It means exactly the opposite of being an orphan.
Now, some of you who are troubled by the fact that over the years there have been expressions of need and invitations of support …
PAUL: I’m sorry. I, Paul, lost it.
RAJ: One of the reasons that many of you are bothered by the ongoing expressions of need and invitations for support is because you have an expectation, a preconception, that if you’re on your spiritual path and you manage to connect with the Holy Spirit, or your guide, or the Father, that you will suddenly be without need. You will be whole and not need anyone!
Ah-h. Reeks of independence again, doesn’t it? Ah-h, now, you can sit in your ivory tower of holiness, of holy wholeness, needing no one, needing nothing, and having no reason or obligation to “relationship,” and that’s the bottom line of the problem. And that is exactly the fundamental cornerstone of everything I’m sharing with all of you, so that you don’t even find in holiness a reason for being separate from your brother—an orphan who has arrived but still doesn’t need to connect or relate or feel for another.
You know what? This will happen again and again, and again and again, until you get it. And then will “need” go away? No. Need will still be an essential of being, we’ll say. But it is something that will be met, because there will be no one else, aside from the one in need, to look with judgment or criticism, but whose heart will be full because he got the point, she got the point.
You need your brother. Your brother needs you. And you love to be the place where the need is met. You love to make the gift that makes another whole, if I may put it that way—that acknowledges wholeness and that values wholeness enough to make it real “in the world.”
I’m going to quote two things from Mary Baker Eddy. One is, “Blessed is he who seeth a brother’s need and supplieth it.” Blessed is he who sees a brother’s need and supplieth it. Everyone talks a lot about love, love. You can get very passionate about love, but in another statement by Mrs. Eddy it says, “Divine love always has met and always will meet”… what? The “human need.” That’s what love does! But love doesn’t do it without there being someone letting it in, having an object of his or her affection, and extending it; thereby supplying the need with the answer that meets the need.
I have need of you. I have need of every single one of you. And we’ve talked before about the fact that God needs you. The fact is, you could say, and be absolutely correct, that since you are God’s creation, God already has you. So, how could he need you? You see? You get the word “need” confused with the word “lack.” God needs you because, being his self-expression, you are essential to his self-expression. You are essential to God. All of creation is essential to God. And you need God. You, the orphan you think you are, needs God, needs to know his source, his father, his mother, so as to be able to know who he really is, and that he’s not an orphan.
Now, as I said, the thing that’s troubling to those of you who keep hearing an expression of, or a call for help, is that you have this preconception that when you “get it,” when you get the point, when you let everything that I’ve been talking about happen with you, that you suddenly will be, well, the equivalent of independently wealthy, that you will not need anything, and thus you will be able to avoid the humiliation of saying you have a need. Well, surprise! That is never going to happen.
You need absolutely every single one of the members of the brotherhood or sisterhood of God. The wholeness of the expression of God, down to every last detail, infinite detail, is essential to your wholeness. You would be incomplete without every last tiny iota of Creation. It is all essential to you, and you will always need it.
Now, here’s the interesting thing: As long as you are distancing yourself from Creation, the fact that all of It is essential to you will be felt as an emptiness, because you can’t deny part of your infinitude without experiencing the discomfort, the dissonance, of trying to ignore something that you can’t get rid of because it’s absolutely essential to you, because you need it.
Well, you know, this is not at all satisfying to the ego because what it says is that you’re nothing without everything. You’re nothing without every single one of your brothers and sisters. You’re nothing without all of Creation. Nothing! There’s no way for you to be something all by yourself, and that will not be the end result of your spiritual path. That will not be the prize for waking up.
Thank God that you have someone like Paul, or the person next door, or the fellow sitting on the street with a hat out, saying, “I have a need.” Thank God because they are your opportunities to look into your brother’s eyes and remember God. They are your opportunity to embody divine love meeting … what? Every human need.
Now, this is going to be a great disappointment to those of you who have felt that your self-respect would ultimately come… or shall I say your ultimate self-respect would ultimately come from your not needing to need, and not having to own the need, and not having to feel the need, and not having to be needy. You thought that was going to be the prize.
But I’m going to tell you something: As more and more of you recognize, realize, discover that need is not going to go away, because what it is, is that which identifies what is essential to your being, that makes you whole… until you make that discovery, you will in one way or another be offered the opportunity to recognize the degree to which you, like the Pharisee, want to walk by on the other side of the road. Not seeing, not feeling, not being distracted by someone’s need. Not being trapped into being humane—which really means being involved. Involved like the Good Samaritan. Actually touching the person in need who was wounded and dusty and exhausted, and using muscles to carry him to a place where comfort and nurturing and sustenance could be provided.
When you make the discovery that it’s your function to recognize need and supply it, and you don’t resist it and you don’t resent it anymore, and you willingly give it… you know what? There suddenly won’t be any more people to pick up on the side of the road. But you’ll still need them. And they’ll still need you. And you’ll know it, and you’ll believe it, and you’ll let it be true. You will let it to be truth. And you will love you brother, and you will, in the act of loving your brother, remember God.
It is suggested that the fact that there is need, and that Paul has to keep asking for help, is an indication of some flaw in his psyche, some ignorance that clarity needs to come to. Well, I’ll tell you the clarity that needs to come to him: It is to stop caring how he looks to others. And how to be true, no matter how it is interpreted by others, no matter what it arouses in them.
You see, generally speaking Paul is not interested in looking good. But there is a hooker present in him, and that is that he doesn’t want to look bad. And that’s just as significant a hook as wanting to look good. In a way it’s even more difficult because those who, such as you, all of you who seem to be in his presence listening to what I’m saying, can easily suggest to him that he’s someone special and because you don’t want to have to get involved, and because you don’t want to feel need, you really need Paul to have no needs.
You need him to be special so that you can look forward to a specialness of your own. You want to use him as a role model to base your confidence in so that you may, with a certain amount of resolve, press forward, so that you might arrive at the point you want him to be, which is to have no needs. If he taught you that lesson, it would be a mis-teaching. If I allowed him to teach that lesson, I would be at fault, because the lesson that needs to be learned is the exact opposite.
You cannot be independently whole, independently “wealthy,” independently without need. Independence is itself the problem. It is the foundation of orphanhood. It is the foundation of “the human condition.” It is the foundation of suffering. It is the foundation of ignorance of What You Are.
As I said, this isn’t very satisfying or pleasing to the ego because your spiritual path, your spiritual quest, if it is followed truly, and if it is the true path, will bring you to the point of the ego’s humiliation and your humility, so that you’re not only unafraid to need your brothers and sisters, you are also unafraid to recognize their need and supply it. You’re not afraid to be the presence of love which, extended, you get to keep, and which, by the extending and keeping, causes you to remember Who You Are, which means: causes you to remember God, because what you are is God’s son, God’s daughter, God’s self-expression.
And that’s how you come Home.
So the need that Paul has expressed from time to time, and that I have shared with you from time to time, will not go away. You know what will go away? You’re resistance to being the presence of love that meets the need. And in whatever recognition of the truth of this that you have, as a result of exactly what I’m teaching you right now, it will have transfer value, because Paul is not special—no more special than the double-amputee sitting on the sidewalk in front of his cigar box or old hat, begging. And so you will gladly let the value be transferred to anything and everything in your experience, and you will be willing to look in the eyes of that disheveled, apparently not whole, dirty, unshaven sorry example of humanity, and look into his eyes and remember God.
You will be willing to get involved. You will not let your nose come to attention and turn your head and try to ignore the awfulness, “because it doesn’t represent the truth. It doesn’t represent God,” and, of course, “there’s a reason he’s in that situation, you know. He has some beliefs to work out.” And, of course, you’re not the one that’s going to help him. Oh, no, that would take involvement. That would take time. That would be messy.
You see, we’ve been talking about this for quite some time. It’s what the Course has been teaching, as we’ve been reading it for quite some time. So when you let your nose come back down a couple of notches and you let go of your self-righteousness and your arrogance and all of the behavioral indicators of your level of spiritual progress, and you let the distance between you and your brother diminish by virtue of letting your attention rest with your brother or sister, and by virtue of letting involvement occur and letting your heart open, humility will have begun to characterize your presence and your mind.
A third statement by Mary Baker Eddy: “Stand porter at the door of thought.” In other words, watch, give attention to what’s going on in your mind. “Stand porter at the door of thought. Allowing only those thoughts which you would have bodily manifest, you will govern yourself harmoniously.” Important. Stand porter at the door of thought. Allowing only those thoughts which you would have manifest … and let’s drop the word “bodily.” We could say, which you would have manifest in your world, which you would have manifest in your life. “Admitting only those thoughts which you would have manifest… you will govern yourselves harmoniously.”
Self-righteousness, arrogant meanness, used solely for the purpose of not having to be involved, used solely for the purpose of being able to keep your distance and also keep alive in your mind this insane concept that the ultimate of awakening, that the ultimate of enlightenment, is “not needing”—and therefore that’s the example to hold everyone else to, while you’re moving toward it—will absolutely keep you bound in your dream. And you will be an ultimate example of the Pharisee who crosses by on the other side of the road, piously pure because he didn’t let himself succumb to the recognition of that polluting energy called “need.”
And when need is not addressed, fulfillment doesn’t come. If fulfillment doesn’t come it means love hasn’t been present. And if divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need, and divine love is the presence of God moving, then God hasn’t been present. What has? Only a pious, arrogant, self-important Pharisee—orphan.
We talked a few weeks ago about the fact that you can be in an elevator or you can be in a crowd of people, alone, because you keep them away from you and you keep yourself private from them. And what I want you to see most clearly is that when you avoid seeing, recognizing and responding to need, you are keeping yourself isolated. And I’m going to ask you something: Who are you saving yourself for? Who is ultimately going to get this need-less being? Are you getting the picture?
I have need of you. All of you. For what? I have need of you to be my brothers and sisters and know that you’re my brothers and sisters, and know that we have the same Father, and that therefore we have the same inheritance, so that we may be together equally, fully, wholly, w-h-o-l-l-y. I need you because you’re part of my completeness, and you need me because I’m part of your completeness. And we need each other because when we recognize our completeness in each other, we remember God. And then we’re all at Home together consciously, and the dream stops. The illusions dissolve.
It is a misperception for any of you to think that you are self-sufficient, or that you could ever become self-sufficient. And yet, in the Western world, you, for the most part, have been taught that a respectable person is one who can take care of himself and is never in need. And his lack of need is always a measure of his respectability, his dignity, his worth. I don’t mean financial worth, there. I mean that his presence has meaningful substance to it. You’ve all been taught this to one degree or another. As a result, you have come to believe that being in need is… what? Shameful.
Fifty years ago, 75 years ago, it was not uncommon to hear a parent say to a child, “Shame on you!” You almost never hear that today because the concept of shame is no longer being used like it used to be to force people through fear, and a feeling of shame, to step up to the mark, get a rod up your backbone and a stiff upper lip, and come hell or high water get yourself into a state of self-sufficiency.
Thank God “shame” is not being used like it used to be because, to tell you the truth, it allows you to hear what I’m saying a little more easily than if I had said this 60 years ago to the mentality of that time.
Where is love needed. Love is needed where the mess is. Love is needed where the hurt is going on. Love is needed where anger is rampant and apparently seemingly justified. Love is needed where there is pain. Love is needed where there seems to be an experience of lack. And, again, I’m making a very clear distinction between the word “lack” and the word “need.” The word “need,” again, applies to whatever is essential to your being. Lack is a belief that something essential to your being is missing, when that is impossible.
Your world is expressing need all over the place, today. Are you being a Good Samaritan, or are you, like the Pharisee, turning your head and trying to ignore the need so as to keep your sight pure of, and free of, that which is ugly, so that you might more easily keep your mind in your peace, so that you might more easily become elevated into a frame of mind that is so in harmony with God that you experience no need and can thereby fulfill your purpose for being— [chuckling] the ultimate independence.
The Course says that the ego is suspicious at best and vicious at worst. It’s true. How many of you, at an entrance to a freeway or on a street corner, see a man or a woman holding a sign: “THREE KIDS. NO JOB,” and immediately you say, “Who knows whether that’s true or not? Probably there are no children, and probably there isn’t a job, and probably any money I give is going to go straight to the liquor store.” Suspiciousness turned vicious in the span of time it took to go from the beginning of the thought to the end of the thought. Phew! And self-righteous “you” pulls onto the freeway, or turns the corner in your probably-decent car, untouched by the invitation to look into your brother’s eyes and remember God.
Now, we’re not going to get into the book tonight. I’m going to say one more thing: Some of you are likely to be tempted by your ego, after listening tonight—if, indeed, you’re still listening. You’re going to be tempted to say, “Well, Raj can’t really be Jesus, and this can’t really be the Christ talking because, you know what? What he said made me feel guilty.”
That is a real copout. Why am I saying that? Because I’ll tell you, if you’re going to wake up, one way or another your ignorance must be uncovered so that you can become free of it. And if you are being self-righteous in your days, if you are being arrogant—feeling that you, in your own right, are in some superior position to someone else—then you are wrong. The way you’re looking at yourself is wrong. And so, if you are guilty of doing it, you are guilty of doing it! And you need to feel guilty for doing it.
I hear someone saying, “That’s the last time I’m going to listen to Raj.” No, you’ll be back, because the alternative to what I’m saying is more pain. The alternative to it is not waking up. The alternative to it is the dream lasting a little bit longer because you’re not willing to allow for the form in which “the means for correction” can register with you. And in order for correction to occur, what it is you’re doing that isn’t working must become crystal clear to you. And you will have to say, “Yes, I have been doing something that doesn’t work, and I thought that it was exactly the thing to be doing in order to eventually meet my Maker face-to-face, Awake. And you were wrong. And you’ve got to be able to say you were wrong. You’ve got to be able to recognize that you were doing something that doesn’t work.
Why? So that you can feel like you’ve wasted your life? So that you can become depressed? No. So that you can change your ways. So that you can do something different that does work. If you don’t know that what you’re doing isn’t working, your lost. If you know that what you’re doing doesn’t work, now you are grounded enough to be able to change your mind and be in a new way that does work.
If I cannot point out to you what you’re doing that keeps you from waking up, that keeps you from remembering Who You Are, I don’t have a snowflake’ s chance in hell in fulfilling my purpose. But you know what? The Father gave me my purpose. The father gave you your purpose. And it can be fulfilled. But you’re going to have to fulfill it by employing it. You’re going to have to fulfill it by seeing need and supplying it—becoming involved, letting love pour forth, abandoning suspiciousness and viciousness.
So, there’s much grist for the mill, isn’t there, in you … in each of you. Much to abide with and much to let abide with you so that it might trigger in you a desire that’s never gone away, even though you ignored it—to be able to look into your brother’s eyes without all of these self-righteous defenses and be the presence of love that meets the need, and you remember God. You see? I love you enough to tell you when you’re wrong so that you might make a new decision and do what’s right, and come Home. That is my job.
[Addressing everyone in the group] I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Young Christopher, behind the table, whose eyes I cannot see, but whose eyes I know are there, I love you. And I love you. And I love you—all of you who are watching and all of you who might listen. And I look forward to being with you next week.