Oct 7, 2006
T12.5 Finding the Present
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
And welcome to another Saturday night chat in orphanland—Saturday night fireside chat. Or, welcome to another Saturday night where there are no orphans and all who are gathered and all who are listening are Christs. And there are no orphanages, there are just structures of love that are exquisite manifestations of Creation—this moment’s creation. And instead of orphanland, it’s the Kingdom of Heaven. Two different ways of describing one event.
And you must remember, that although I’ve been talking at some length about being orphans, it has always been linked with the mind—an orphan mindset, a mental bias applied to the mind. So that you experience being conscious differently than you would find yourself experiencing everything if you were identifying yourself right at this moment as the Presence of God—God manifesting Himself right now, right where you are. And that literally, the only correct definition of you each is the Christ—the full blown, fully manifested Christ at this moment.
Now that’s the truth about you. It’s because you don’t believe it’s the truth about you, that when I describe the nature of the beliefs that are to the contrary, that I must give them a practical description. And I do that by describing an orphan. It’s just a behavior pattern—physical behavior pattern and mental pattern. It is a pattern applied to something that is patternless.
Mind isn’t patterned. It isn’t something to be compartmentalized and categorized and filed in this order and that order and another order so as to present some structure, some characteristics.
But you know what? As long as you think your mind is for thinking, that is what you will do. Because you will have thoughts, you will analyze the thoughts, you will validate the thoughts, you will evaluate the thoughts, you will categorize them and file them accordingly.
All of this is an artificial overlay on what your mind is. Because your mind is, literally, the light that illuminates all that Is and is thereby, the conscious awareness of all that Is. The function of your mind is to be aware and not do anything with the awareness—to be aware in full embrace of what’s being experienced.
If you’re on a trip and you come around the bend in the road to a site that is unexpected and awesome, all you can do is gasp … just ah-h-h. You don’t know what to think. And you’re not required to think anything. The point is to be fully present with what’s being experienced as you are when you’re surprised beyond thinking.
Now, we read last week …
You who know not what you do CAN learn what insanity is, and look beyond it.1
Does anybody know what that means?
You who know not what you do CAN learn what insanity is, and look beyond it.
If I were to ask you to answer me right now, what is insanity? Do you have the answer on the tip of your tongue? It is a simple answer. Insanity is whenever your mind is engaged in an activity all by itself.
Let me ask you something: If you’re married or in a partnership of any sort, but I’m speaking more specifically about marriage where there is a vow of commitment that is supposed to come from the heart which, we’ll say, isn’t always the case in a business relationship. If you are in a relationship, in a marriage, and one of the partners in the marriage is constantly engaging in activities without clueing his partner in about it—doing things without consulting or discussing what he is going to do, if he is acting quite independently without giving thought to or about his partner or what effects his actions will have—how would you describe that relationship? You would have to describe it as no relationship.
Now, whether you have known it or not, whether you have been taught it or not, whether you have believed it or not, you are and always have been part of a partnership. You have had no capacity to exist, act, or do anything all by yourself. But like a partner in a marriage who does not take into consideration the other partner, you can forget that not only is there something called for that’s missing from the relationship for the other partner, there’s also something called for that has its effect upon you, or the absence of it has its effect on you. What’s missing is the joining.
Now, all that we’ve been talking about, basically, is the call to break the isolation. Over and over and over in many, many, many ways, this need has been described. And the antics you go through to act independently and to justify the independence, have been uncovered and shown for what they are, as that which keeps you from experiencing a wholeness—a union that already exists and which defines you.
Again, insanity is when your mind is engaged in any activity all by itself with not no thought for, care for, or awareness of another—another whom you have an obligation to be relating to. Now whether you want to call it God or the Holy Spirit, the fact is, that the Answer to the human condition, the Answer to every single problem you’re having, lies in breaking this isolation and reuniting, re-embracing with that which constitutes the Source, the energy, the vitality, the very movement of you, of your existence, of your being, without which you could not exist at all.
You who know not what you do CAN learn what insanity is, and look beyond it.
Well, if you didn’t know before, you now know what insanity is. And so now, you can look beyond it. And you’re not confused and you’re not inclined, or you will not be inclined to think it that it’s a process, a complicated process, a complicated intellectual process that you, through the skillful use of your mind, can succeed at bringing to its ultimate conclusion.
It is given you to learn how to DENY insanity…
Now last week when we read this, you could have said, “Hm-m … ‘It is given you to learn how to DENY insanity… ’ Oh, it is? Uh, well I wonder when that happens? Uh … ‘It is given you,’ … Okay, well that must mean I don’t have to figure it out. Maybe then it comes from God. So I wonder when God will give it?” Well, …
It is given you to learn how to DENY insanity…
The way to deny insanity is to stop attempting to do anything independently. Nothing to wait for. Don’t have to wait for the waters to move so that you can step into it and be healed. No need to wait for the beneficent Hand of God to come down and touch you and be ready for it.
It is given you to learn how to DENY insanity…
Again, which is, to abandon attempting to do anything all by yourself. And what? And come forth from your private world. In other words, abandon the state of independence, which is the meaning of insanity. And come forth from your private world. How? In peace. And as I said, with Grace.
Please, these words are more than intellectual tidbits stimulating little pieces of truth that make light bulbs go on in your mind and give you a momentary high. These words here, are the basis for each one of you to pay attention to how you’re using your mind every single day in a way you’ve never done before. And when you hear these things, you need to ask, “Well, if it’s given me to learn how to deny insanity, when is that going to happen?” … if you’re not already aware. And then listen. And if you say, “Well, I haven’t gotten in touch with my Guide yet, but oh boy, all of this information is just marvelous! Just marvelous! It’s making a terrific difference in my life.”
If you’re not in touch with your Guide yet, keep asking the question. Why? Because, the fact is, that you are the Christ right now in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, dreaming, believing, insanely calculating a story of not being in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven and not being the Christ.
We’re talking about you waking up. Now mind you, not you waking up out of the world and flashing out, we’re talking about you, here, waking up, having a sudden shift of perception—a new way of seeing.
Do you want to wake up or not? How much longer do you want to, you know, suffer your way through? Why do it if you have an alternative? Why suffer through it if you have an alternative? And if the alternative is your Birthright and represents you in your true Mind and you in your true stature, then that’s all the justification you need for going ahead and being more diligent each day, each moment to remember, “I don’t want to look at this by myself!”
The Christ… we read last week …
… sees God’s guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance which is undimmed by your dreams.
… insanities …
And this YOU will see as you look with Him…
… for what?
… for His vision is His gift of love to you, given Him of the Father FOR you.
Right now the Christ in you is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind. And its whole function is to reveal to you and remind you of what you really Are. And every Son of God who is Awake, has that very same function relative to each and every one of you.
Ask: “I wish to look through your Vision. I wish to see everything through your Vision.”
Well, what does that mean? It means you have to defer to Someone else’s point of view. Someone else’s perspective. A perspective other than the one you have been doggedly employing for eons. That’s all. But you have to persist. Because as you persist in a goal, the goal becomes more unified. Do it just because. Just because it’s worth it to find out if there really is a different way to see everything. Because the way you’re seeing it at the moment, even though it is semi-tolerable, is not a heck of a lot of fun.
This book goes back and forth between describing the insanity and describing the Answer. And in that sense, once you begin to see that, the book almost becomes monotonous, almost predictable. But each time it does it, it does it from a little bit different vantage point, and so there’s a little bit of further intellectual clarification. And it’s like, “Oh boy, it’s gonna be interesting to see what comes on the next page, and on the next page and in the next Chapter … ” And nobody stops and says, “I wish to see everything through Your Vision. I wish to defer all of my perceptions to Your Vision.” And then stay with that intent as persistently as you can, whether you see immediate transformation or not. Because remember, that the persistence in a goal unifies the goal—unifies the intent. I don’t like this word, but I will say, “solidifies” the intent, strengthens the intent, establishes it as having staying power—not wobbly, not weak, not easily affected by circumstances.
As long as you enjoy further intellectual stimulation in having insanity disclosed a little bit more clearly from a different angle, there’s a lot more for us to go through and have that satisfied. But please don’t think that’s the goal. It is not necessary to understand anything in order to Wake up, except that you have apparently two choices: the choice to think you’re an orphan, or the choice to abandon orphanhood and join, not only with your Maker, but with your Brothers and Sisters and all of Creation. And you can do that without reading another page in this book. No, this is not our last ACIM Study Group.
Let’s go into the book.
Finding the Present
To perceive truly is to be aware of ALL reality through the awareness of your own.
Well, that’s nice … hm-m …
To perceive truly is to be aware of ALL reality through the awareness of your own.
Simple statement, but one that in order to be experienced, you will find is an all consuming activity. How do you have the awareness of your own reality? Yeah, monotonous—by abandoning your orphanhood, by consciously joining with the Holy Spirit. By consciously joining with One who is Awake—your Guide. You must go to that Place, that Source, you must be serious enough about abandoning all of your thinking and all of your preconceptions long enough to hear a different Point of View. And let that different Point of View in. Because until you let that different Point of View in, there is no opportunity for learning. Nothing can change if there’s nothing present that can alter the status quo.
To perceive truly is to be aware of ALL reality through the awareness of your own. But for this NO illusions can rise to meet your sight, for ALL reality leaves no room for ANY error. This means that you perceive a brother only as you see him NOW.
Mind you, this does not mean that the way you’re seeing your Brother now, is a true experience of him. You will perceive your Brother correctly—truly—only as you see him, and I’m going to add the words, in the now, in the present, in the gap between memory and imagination.
His past has NO reality in the present, and you CANNOT see it. YOUR past reactions to him are ALSO not there…
… in the present …
… and if it is to them that you react NOW, you see but an image of him which you made and cherish INSTEAD of him.
Now, it is very difficult for you to see your Brother or anything, with innocent eyes. In other words, free of the past and free of your imagination. That’s why you must ask for help:
“Help me see my Brother through Your Vision, which is Your Gift to me.”
And persist in this. Do it over and over. Because you want to become free of any bullshit baggage that you’re carrying along with you that’s standing in the way of your being able to be present—conscious in the now. And you want to be free of what it’s not your Birthright to be carrying around and to be foiled by in your divine purpose.
In your questioning of illusions, ask yourself if it is REALLY sane to perceive what WAS NOW.
Now most of you cannot really agree with that statement. Even though intellectually you can say, “Well, yeah … I guess I aught to ask.” You believe that it really is sane to perceive what was, now. Else you’re going to be taken for the same ride that you were taken for before. And you will end up being abused, just as you were before, because if you are present in the now with that person without bringing memory forward, you will not know that you had better be defended.
Or, if you had a bad financial dealing and it’s necessary to have a new one, you feel that it is absolutely essential for you to go into the new dealing with all that you learned from the last one. And fortunately, you made a list of all the things you should’ve done that you didn’t do so you can be sure you do them this time. And yet this time, you may not be dealing with anyone unscrupulous at all, and all of this practice of preparedness out of the past will not only have been useless, but it will likely create in the mind of the person you are working with, who this time is benign, of being off-putting, of being unfriendly and causing that one to wonder just how trust-worthy you are and bring elements into what would have been a perfect negotiation that didn’t need to be there.
In your questioning of illusions, ask yourself if it is REALLY sane to perceive what WAS NOW. If you remember the past as you look upon your brother, you will be unable to perceive the reality that is NOW.
You see, when you’re in this whole mind-set, you could be with a real sharpster, engaging in this negotiation, who is able to recognize your feeling of vulnerability, and while you are scrambling to secure that vulnerability, he is able to pull off another aspect of the negotiation—pull the wool right over your eyes because you’re not conscious enough to know it, because you’re so preoccupied with putting into play what you learned before.
But, if you’re present in the now, what does that mean? Being present in the now. There’s only one way to be present in the now, and that’s to be joined. If you are not joined with the Father, or the Holy Spirit, or your Guide, you’re not in the now, because you’re not joined. Isolation is the absence and the apparent incapacity to be present in the now.
If you are in the now, you will be joined. If you are joined, and you have said, by virtue of wanting to be being joined, “I wish to see through Your Vision, which is your gift to me,” you will be absolutely pertinent in every aspect of the negotiation whether you have any understanding at all of all of the potential pitfalls. And you will not find yourself in the position of having been abused and you will not have behaved in a way that confirms the other one to be the abuser that he so smartly thought he wanted to be. A win-win solution. In other words, a unified solution. A unified event.
You consider it “natural” to use your past experience as the reference point from which to JUDGE the present.
I would say, you consider it utterly natural to use the past as the reference point from which to judge the present.
Yet this is UNNATURAL because it is delusional.
At this moment, does that make any sense … I hope? It makes no sense to engage in any activity at any moment without being conscious in that moment. Doesn’t that make sense? If you’re not being conscious in that moment, then you are being from an unconscious state that’s filled with nothing but memory as well as imagination. It’s disconnected. It’s not connected.
Bringing the past forward by means of memory is not the only solution to your problems. The only solution to your problems is learning to be conscious of the now, in the now. The solution is consciousness. Not a rehash of old tapes. Get it? It’s so simple. Intelligence is utterly clear in the awareness that, to be nothing other than conscious in the now, is the only way to be. It is the way you were created to be. It’s the way things really work.
When you have learned to look upon everyone with NO REFERENCE AT ALL to the past, either his or yours as you perceived it, you will be able …
… to learn …
… have a new experience …
… you will be able to learn from what you see NOW.
Illuminated by what you see now. Because you will see God in what you’re viewing. You will see order in what you’re looking at. You will know how to be appropriately, relative to what is evolving even if those you’re dealing with are still insisting on being orphans. It doesn’t matter what they’re insisting on being. It matters whether you are choosing to be conscious or unconscious. Unconscious like them. Unfortunately you’re more experienced at being unconscious like them, and you already have your rules established at how to make the best of a situation where everyone is bumbling around in the dark with no real sense of what’s really going on.
When you have learned to look upon everyone with NO REFERENCE AT ALL to the past, either his or yours as you perceived it, you will be able to learn from what you see NOW. For the past can cast no shadow to darken the present UNLESS YOU ARE AFRAID OF LIGHT.
We have read earlier that your minds are lit by God, and that your Mind is Light, as I shared at the beginning of the evening here.
And only if you are …
… afraid of light …
… would you choose to bring this darkness WITH you, and by holding it in your minds, see it as a dark cloud that shrouds your brothers and conceals their reality from your sight.
The only reason you insist on holding your brother or sister to your past perception of them, or their past behavior, is because you don’t want to have to be conscious yourself. Because you have the way out of the problem. You have the way out of the human condition. And that is to be conscious fully in the now. If you’re choosing not to do that and giving preference to coping with your orphan brother as an orphan yourself, then there is a pay-off for you.
Well, okay. Do it. You can’t change Reality. Doing it will not kill you. It’ll just be the human condition on and on and on. So I can’t scold you for it. But if you’re not having a good time, I’m here to show you the way out. And I’m here to show you that the way out is not as complicated as the orphan mentality would project that it aught to be.
… only if you are …
… afraid of light …
… would you choose to bring this darkness WITH you, and by holding it in your minds, see it …
… where? Not in your minds, but …
… as a dark cloud that shrouds your brothers and conceals their reality from your sight.
… THIS DARKNESS IS IN YOU.
You’re bringing it. You’re spreading it around. You’re laying it over everything so that it alters your perception of everything.
The Christ revealed to you NOW has no past for He is changeless, and in HIS changelessness lies YOUR release.
Now there’s two ways you can read this correctly. The Christ, meaning the Holy Spirit—that is nothing more than your right mind, the divinity of you held in trust while you dally with the ego—has no past for it is changeless, and in its changlessness lies your release. The changelessness of your Christhood is that in which lies your release, right there in the middle of you.
For if He is as He was created, there is no guilt in Him.
Which means there is no guilt in you.
No cloud of guilt has risen to obscure Him, and He stands revealed in everyone you meet because you see Him through HIMSELF.
“Holy Spirit, help me look at my brothers through your Vision, which is really my Vision. So that in my seeing Him though your Vision and my extending it to Him, I can have the moment of A-ha, when I realize that this isn’t your Vision, Holy Spirit, but is mine, the Christ that I am.”
To be born again is to LET THE PAST GO and look without condemnation upon the present. For the cloud which obscures God’s Son to you IS the past, and if you would have it past AND GONE, you must not see it NOW.
And the only way not to see it now, is not to bring it into the now through the use of your commitment to your memory.
If you see it now in your delusions it has NOT gone from you, although it is not there.
It is not there because it is simply an evidence of insanity. And what is insanity again? The mind engaged in an activity all by itself.
Now, you are all very well conditioned to accomplish things. You go to school to learn how to accomplish various kinds of things and the techniques for accomplishing the various things. You are conditioned to accomplish things and arrive at a point of feeling some authority over your world. Therefore, the greatest likelihood is, that when you say, “I wish to see everything through Your Vision because it is Your gift to me, because it is Your function to extend that to me, even though I don’t know how the event will be experienced, I’m pretty sure that it will come as more tidbits of information, really practical information, information that is, let’s say, earthmoving, information that has power, so that the dilemma I’m experiencing which is causing me to say, ‘I wish to see everything through your Vision’ can be dealt with.”
And I will tell you right now, that’s a mistake. Don’t think you are asking for information. “I wish to experience everything through your Vision, which is Your gift to me.” Don’t try to fantasize what the experience will be like. Be simple minded. Be unified, not fragmented and complex. Because I will tell you something: My Vision will be extended, whether fast or gradual, and you will find yourselves seeing differently. And you will find yourselves not interpreting what you’re seeing the way you had been seeing it before. And you will find that what you wanted to become free of has gone.
Oh dear, but not much help to you, because you don’t know how you did it. So now you can’t repeat it in the future, you see. You didn’t get any little addendum to the manual—the instruction manual. And yet, in order to have the experience in the future, it requires not a remembrance of how the present happened, it has entirely to do with being in that same place. “I wish to see everything … I wish to experience everything through Your Vision.”
You’re all trying to make things perfect. When you really allow yourself to see through My Vision, you will find that it is already perfect, requiring you to do nothing to make it so. And you’re going to find that your reason for being is something entirely and wonderfully different from what you have thought it was.
Good question for all of you: Are you willing to have a teacher? Not someone who’s full of facts and data and who has a great personality and a great rapport with students and being around him is a joy and in the process you have so much more data to consider that makes things work more easily? No. I’m talking about a teacher who you become reliant upon, a teacher in whom you are willing to give trust and faith. Now we’re talking in a different order of things aren’t we.
Are you willing to let the Holy Spirit in you be your Teacher—That which you are willing to, as fearlessly as possible, lean into and depend upon and defer to? Well, that’s quite a bit of involvement isn’t it? Sure glad you didn’t have to do that with every teacher and when you were going through graduate school. Right? Whew!
A teacher isn’t disposable—not a valuable teacher. It isn’t someone to listen to when you feel like it, and not listen to when you don’t feel like it. If that’s the case, that one is not a teacher to you in your mind, and your approach to that teacher is not sincere, genuine, or committed. Well, when we’re talking about serious, genuine and committed, we’re talking about really being involved, aren’t we.
Well, I’ll tell you something: All of you are willing to get committed when you’re brought down to the wire. When you’re on your death’s bed, or you’ve just gotten notice of a terminal illness, or your partner has walked out on you totally unexpectedly, or when, for whatever reason, your self-esteem has been knocked out from under you, now for a little while, you will be willing to be genuine and committed to a Teacher and lean into that One.
Now what makes all of this somewhat amusing in a sick sort of way, is that this Teacher that we’re talking about—that I am talking about you’re making this commitment to, and giving this allegiance to, is that which is nothing more than your very own right Mind, the place of excellence in you that is already immovably there and never went anywhere. So there is no risk of any kind involved.
I encourage you this week to make more commitment to your sanity than you ever have before. “Oh my God, how do I do that? Oh my sanity, where’s my sanity?” Well, where’s your insanity? Your insanity is in the use you put your mind to in which the activity occurs independently.
Sanity, therefore, that you make commitment to is your decision to do nothing alone. In other words, to do everything joined whether you’re able to maintain it consistently or not to begin with, and to persist in it. Remembering, that this is not so you will gain information with which to get a better hold on your problematic life. But so that you can break free of unconsciousness into a fully conscious experience of the moment you’re in. Which is in the little gap between the past, between memory and the future imagination in which all of Creation stands unaffected by as it always has been, unaffected by whatever was going on in memory and whatever has been going on in imagination.
Have a good week. And I look forward to being with all of you next week.
T12.5 Finding the Present ↩︎