Jun 1, 2008
T14.1 Guilt and Guiltlessness
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
So, we’re talking about letting a “new you” come forth—the “you” that has been covered up by the personality that you have developed with which you identify yourself, and by means of which you keep yourself safe.
If I were to tell you that the new you will be a holy man or a holy woman, truly a holy man or a holy woman, how many of you would put down this book and opt for a little snooze, so to speak, and put off this inevitable, questionable experience?
So, let’s ask what is the meaning—or what is the definition of a holy man. Is it someone who sits in robes and who has capacity to bless, who walks around with crowds trailing after him—sort of an unnatural spectacle, we’ll say? If indeed it was happening in your office or as you were walking down the street or buying groceries in the grocery store, none of you would really opt for that, I don’t think, unless you were able to set up a special environment in which you could be in this fashion, where the environment and everyone in it accommodated it.
Would you want to be, really, unusually special? Yes. But what is really unusually special is to be able to be an incredible friend. And that’s what a holy man is, or a holy woman.
A real holy man or holy woman is one who meets you right where you are. One who “be’s” with you right where you are, who loves you whether you’re in your peace or whether you’re frightened, who is able to encourage you whether you’re in your peace or whether you’re frightened, one who is dedicated to you and in whose presence you always come out on top. What I mean by that is, that you always end up being blessed in your experience by virtue of your relationship.
An incredible friend is not particularly noticeable if the two of you are walking down the street. There’s nothing weird about it, even though everything about it for you is transformational.
This is the kind of thing we’re talking about when we describe the “new you” that will be coming forth as you let it be uncovered in the absence of your maintaining a terrific personality or a powerful personality or a successful personality.
All personalities keep all of you preoccupied from connecting with your brother as an incredible friend, because the key attribute of an incredible friend is that he doesn’t have himself on his mind. He’s not in relationship with you to “get” but to give—to be present with.
What is the one thing that God has given you the capacity to do? To acknowledge guiltlessness. Strange thing you might think. Why would God give everyone the capacity to recognize guiltlessness? Well, because He gave you the capacity to see what He created. And what He created is guiltless. What He created is flawless—is perfect. What He created is imbued with and expresses—embodies, kindness, love, respect, caring, giving, affection, and on and on. Of course He’s given you the capacity to recognize guiltlessness or innocence.
Because He gave you the capacity to recognize guiltlessness, you have the capacity to experience all of Creation with nothing left out—nothing hidden from you. You could say that, by virtue of giving you the capacity to recognize and acknowledge guiltlessness, God gave you the ability to see with His Mind—to see all of Creation with Him and in seeing it with Him, being co-creators.
Once again, we’re getting into these high-falutin’ words. But let’s back up. Because this capacity that God gave you, that is the equivalent of His giving you His Mind, is what describes an incredible friend, something very simple and down to earth, something very present and relevant to where all of you find yourselves today. But because it’s much more than you have conceived yourselves to be, it means that you stand on the threshold of incredible breakthrough, of incredible revelation, of incredible insight, all of which will cause you not to be strange, but to be an incredible friend.
You could also say that a holy man or a holy woman—you in your true characteristics—are teachers of innocence. Because if you have the capacity to see innocence, if you have the capacity to acknowledge innocence—guiltlessness, you inevitably and unavoidably teach innocence by the way you behave toward all that you experience that is guiltless. You won’t sit down with a book and teach guiltlessness. You’ll put your arm around your brother and in that simple act will be a profound experience of love that conveys pure and simple but ultimate acceptance—innocence—the innocence of the one being embraced so purely. You see?
As we read last time …
Join your own efforts to the power that CANNOT fail and MUST result in peace.
Join with the Father by making it your joy to take your brother and hold him or her up to the Father, in praise of your brother or sister, in acknowledgement of his worth, of his value, of his or her innocence.
Join your own efforts to the power that CANNOT fail and MUST result in peace.
Well, I tell you, when you are embraced by, immersed in the experience of your innocence, it is an experience of perfect peace. There is no fear, there is no undercurrent, there is no uneasiness, there is no disturbance. The experience of innocence is simultaneously an experience of perfect peace. It is your Birthright to be experiencing it and it is your brother’s and sister’s Birthright to be experiencing it. And it will be experienced when each of you extend—when each of you cares enough to extend—the acknowledgement of your brother’s or sister’s innocence.
Your willingness to acknowledge that your brother or sister is not just the physical offspring of a physical parent, but is in actuality, the direct and present expression of the Life Principle, of the movement of Life itself, called God. This is the marvelous and wonderful function. We could call it a task, but nobody likes work. But it is your function, it is your natural spontaneous function built into you because God gave you the capacity to acknowledge innocence, to acknowledge guiltlessness, to see His Creation as it is without any distortion whatsoever.
So a teacher of innocence is a teacher of peace as well. And on that note, let’s go into the book.
Peace, then, be unto everyone who becomes a teacher of peace. For peace is the acknowledgment of perfect purity from which no-one is excluded. Within its holy circle is everyone whom God created as His Son.1
… as His offspring, as His daughter.
Joy is its unifying attribute, with no-one left outside to suffer guilt alone. The power of God draws everyone to its safe embrace of love and union.
Well, you know, you can be sarcastic and say, “Yeah … right … right … the power of God draws everyone to its safe embrace of love and union … I sure haven’t experienced it! And if God is all powerful and omnipotent as everyone says He is, then He should have a way to make the attractiveness of His Gift unavoidably in my face so I can’t possibly miss it … and I’ve been missing it!” Nevertheless …
The power of God draws everyone to its safe embrace of love and union.
The simple fact is, that every single one of you who isn’t experiencing it, is pissed off about it. You don’t like your life the way it’s going when you’re not experiencing it, and you know down at the bottom line of your very being, that it is your Birthright to be experiencing it.
So the fact is, that the power of God does draw everyone to its safe embrace of love and union. And what I’m saying is, stop being pissed off about not experiencing it, and siphoning off your capacity to recognize innocence or guiltlessness because you are getting such a hit out of being pissed off—being angry—griping about the injustice.
The power of God draws everyone to its safe embrace of love and union. Stand quietly within this circle, and attract all tortured minds to join with you in the safety of its peace and holiness.
In other words, be the holy man that you really Are. Be that which stands quietly within this circle of peace, this circle of love, this circle of unity. And, by being an incredible friend…
… attract all tortured minds to join with you in the safety of its peace and holiness. Abide with me within it, as teachers of Atonement, NOT of guilt.
The subject of this chapter is Bringing Illusions to Truth. And here we are, discussing the act, we’ll say, of bringing who you think you are to the truth of what you really Are. You see? “What, you’re calling me an illusion? “ No, you’re very real, but who you think you are is an illusion. And who you present so strongly to everyone else is not the real you. But I’ll talk to the one you think you are and I will invite you, I will entice you, I will try to make attractive to you the abandonment of who you think you are because there’s something or someone so much more meaningful right there where you are, than the personality you’re presenting. And I want for you to be experiencing it.
And if I can inspire in you the slightest bit of faith, that there’s something very different and something much more meaningful to the essential you than who you think you are at this moment, that will help you be willing to withdraw your intense faith in who you think you are and dare to explore whatever the potentials might be of who and what you really Are.
That’s what an incredible friend does. And that’s your task to share or be with others. And it’s a capacity that God gave you—the capacity to acknowledge guiltlessness in your brother.
You see, I’m inviting you to join me in extending to each other what I’m extending to you. And by virtue of your being an incredible friend with others, you will be extending the invitation to them to do the same thing for those they come in contact with. And so it becomes an on-going extension—a spreading of a change of mentality that constitutes the birthing of a new culture.
Blessed are you who teach with me.
Why … because I’m so great? No. Blessed are those who teach with you as well. Why … because you’re great? No. Because those who have abandoned second gear—those who have abandoned a self-important independent position, those who have abandoned autonomy and have actually rejoined with their family, with their brothers and sisters are uncovering and illuminating the Kingdom of Heaven—Reality as it is. Let’s just call it Reality as it is so it doesn’t have to sound quite so holy.
What a wonderful thing too, by virtue of your capacity to acknowledge guiltlessness, cause Reality in all of its perfection to become visible to you and to your brothers, and your brothers to extend the same thing to their brothers and sisters, on and on and on. That’s why you’re blessed. That’s why you would be blessed.
Blessed are you who teach with me. Our power comes not of us, but of our Father.
How? How did we get it of our Father? Well, like I said, because He gave you the capacity to see His Creation as He sees it—distortion-free.
Our power …
… to teach together …
… comes not of us but of our Father. In guiltlessness we know Him…
… you see? But if we’re guilty, we don’t know Him. And we squabble among each other to try to survive the awfulness of being guilty. But in our guiltlessness, we know ourselves and we know our Father and we know who we Are together—brothers and sisters—family.
In guiltlessness we know Him, as He knows us guiltless. I stand within the circle, calling you to peace. Teach peace with me, and stand with me on holy ground.
And I’ll add … you holy Son of God—you holy man, you holy woman …
Teach peace with me, and stand with me on holy ground. Remember for everyone your Father’s power that He …
… your Father …
… has given him.
… His Sons and Daughters.
Remember for everyone your Father’s power that He has given him.
You see … you’re remembering for him by taking your brother who has all kinds of self-doubts and all kinds of self-criticisms and all kinds of illness as a result of his self-depreciating attitude about himself and perspective. Take this brother, who is terribly confused, and lift him up to the Father acknowledging his innocence, acknowledging what is true of him in spite of what he believes. And embrace your brother and behave with your brother in the context of what you know to be the truth with him so that he can be inspired to join with you and abandon his private devotion to his inner fear. And in that joining, remember brotherhood, break the isolation and pave the way for inspiration to replace his devotion to his fear.
So when you lift your brother up when he’s ignorant of his divinity, you are remembering for him his Father’s power that his Father has given him.
Remember for everyone your Father’s power that He …
… your Father …
… has given him. Believe not that you cannot teach His …
… the Father’s …
… perfect peace. Stand not outside, but join with me within.
Stand not outside. Outside what? Outside the relationship, outside the family. Don’t stand in the middle of the orphanage. That’s outside relationships, that’s outside the actuality of the Brotherhood of man whose Father is God.
Stand not outside, but join with me within.
… within the wholeness—the unity of our Brotherhood.
Fail not the only purpose to which my teaching calls you.
And what is my teaching? My teaching is: You are the holy Son of God, you are a holy man, you are a holy woman. And it is your function to look at everything and see it’s guiltlessness, to see its indivisibility which, because it is indivisible, cannot be polarized, cannot be chaotic, can have no elements of dissonance or destruction, and which glows with the illumination of the Love which the Father brought forth in its creation. That’s what my teaching calls you to. And when you do this with your brother, it’s what your teaching calls him to.
Restore to God His Son as He …
… God …
… created him by teaching him his innocence.
There we are again, talking about being an incredible friend.
You know, I’m really not using that as a “catch phrase.” But you’ve got to understand I am using it because it’s such a simple term. It’s very understandable. You understand the meaning of the words, “incredible friend.” That’s all the more complicated all of this that we’ve been talking about is. We’re not talking about being some incredible fantastic, strange, weird, perhaps frightening, spiritual—not apparition—but spiritual presence that you’re not sure you would want to be and you’re not sure anybody else would want to experience.
Be an incredible friend and …
Restore to God His Son …
… hold up to God His Son …
… as He …
… God …
… created him by …
… you …
… teaching him …
… your Father’s Son …
… his innocence.
Perform the one function God gave you, which was the capacity to acknowledge guiltlessness. You see, the word “guilt” in the word “guiltlessness” loses its sting a little bit, because guiltlessness really means utterly pure presence of conscious life that is the Presence of God embodied right there where every one of your brothers is, and where you are. Now …
The crucifixion has no part in the Atonement. Only the resurrection became my part in it. That is the symbol of the release from guilt by guiltlessness. Whom you perceive as guilty you would crucify. Yet you RESTORE [gentleness] guiltlessness to whomever you see as guiltless. Crucifixion is ALWAYS the ego’s aim.
Crucifixion is always the bottom line of life in second gear, of life in the orphanage, because survival is your number one goal. No matter what you have to do you will survive, even if you have to kill, even if you have to maim, even if you have to destroy your fellowman if he obnoxiously gets in the way.
Whether you ultimately crucify your brother, you will hold him in contempt, you will judge him poorly and you will hold him to the judgment you have applied to him and you will extract from him penalties until something incredible happens and you find a new activity—something new to engage in with your brother—that something being, to hold your brother up to God and acknowledge his guiltlessness.
Now, those of you who have studied the Course for a long time know that the word “forgiveness” is a very big word. If you’ll notice, I don’t use the word “forgiveness” very much, the reason being, that forgiveness can become a process that you can become stuck in. If you don’t even bother to use the word “forgiveness” or to have the word “forgiveness” in your vocabulary, it doesn’t keep you in any way from having the thought or the idea to look at your brother and see the good that is there, or to have the desire to look at your brother and want to see the underlying fundamental truth of his being that has to be there, because the Father put it there by Being that which is embodied where your friend is. It is God Who is embodied where you are, where your friend is, where everything is.
Now, the simple fact is, that if you’re willing to look at anything and see the more of what God is Being right there than what you’re seeing right now, you are engaged in an act of forgiveness.
But I’m going to tell you something: Forgiveness is an overused word and it does not convey fully the simple meaning of your having a desire to see the best in your brother. Forgiveness really isn’t something you give to a brother or do for a brother. Forgiveness is really an inner act on your part of abandoning blaming your brother, of abandoning judging your brother and holding him to your poor judgment.
So I talk more about what constitutes the absence of judgment—the willingness to look at your brother or a flower or an object with a desire to see God there. You see, now you don’t have to get into, “Well, does he deserve to be forgiven? Does the flower deserve to be forgiven?” or, “Why did I hold that flower in judgment and thereby not see it completely for what it truly is?” You see, it all becomes irrelevant and you’re down to the act of engaging in desiring to see the more of God there. You’re hooked on the transformation rather than the process of letting something go. You see? You have the forward look instead of the backward look.
So, from second gear in the orphanage—in the orphan mindset—life is survival. It is therefore self-protection at all costs. You are number one. Everything had better leave you alone and not interfere with your existence. No sense of family there, just sense of “me and enemies,” and “me learning how to defend myself against my enemies,” and “me, if I am really, really, really a smart organism, finding a way to finesse my enemies into not behaving in such an awful way toward me, finessing them into being civilized.” You see?
But still, you’re in an act of self-defense. The need that’s being satisfied is self-protection. Thus, everything you engage in costs everyone else something—that is, whether it’s minimal or maximal crucifixion. But crucifixion is not part of the Atonement.
The crucifixion has no part in the Atonement.
What’s going on in second gear has nothing to do with shifting to first gear.
Only the resurrection became my part in it.
Let that sink in. When it sinks in, you will realize that there simply is no further use for crucifixion in any form. It is not valuable for you to practice it on yourself or on anyone else. It has no part in the Atonement.
Only the resurrection became my part in it.
Now, in a way, Atonement has had a little bit of crucifixion attached to it and the way in which it was attached to it was by providing you with an uncomfortable task of “forgiving your brother.” I mean, agreed isn’t it, that that’s not a very pleasant task considering what your brother’s really like. And so you have a little bit of a crucifixion here, while you muster up the strength and the willingness and somehow the capacity to forgive “the bastard.” That’s a little bit of crucifixion.
But if you’re willing to look at your brother and say, “Father, help me look into my brothers’ or my sisters’ eyes and see You. Help me look into my brothers’ eyes and remember You.” What are you doing? You’re engaging in an action or activity of the Atonement because you are cutting to the chase and engaging in the act of inclusion, of caring and of acknowledging that not only you but your brother have a common Father. God now has come back into the picture. Father has come back. Mother has come back. Orphans and orphanages have become meaningless. Behaving as though orphans and orphanages are meaningful stops! You see?
Resurrection is part of the Atonement. And Resurrection is what happens when you don’t get entangled in processes but you go for the gusto, and you say, no matter who it is you’re looking at, no matter what it is you’re looking at, whether if it’s an ant, or a flower, or a tree, or whatever. And you say, “I want to see what’s really there. I want to see the guiltlessness of what I’m looking at, which means that I want to look at what God is Being there and see it the way God is seeing it. And I no longer opt for the right to have my own private personal way of perceiving it.” You see? That’s Resurrection.
Crucifixion is ALWAYS the ego’s aim. It sees AS GUILTY, and by its condemnation it would kill. The Holy Spirit sees only guiltlessness, and in His gentleness He would release from fear, and re-establish the reign of love. The power of love is in His gentleness, which is of God and therefore cannot crucify nor suffer crucifixion.
Holy man and holy woman, everyone of you who’s hearing me right now, listen to this …
The Holy Spirit sees only guiltlessness, and in His gentleness He would release from fear, and re-establish the reign of love.
Well, holy man and holy woman, the Holy Spirit that does this is nothing more than your right Mind. It’s your function that we’re talking about here. It is your function divinely placed and divinely established that sees only guiltlessness. And in your gentleness you …
… would release from fear, and re-establish the reign of love.
That’s your function, right here today, now.
The power of love is in His gentleness…
… is in your gentleness …
… which is of God and therefore cannot crucify nor suffer crucifixion. The temple you restore …
… by becoming a teacher of innocence, by joining with me.
The temple you restore becomes YOUR altar…
Why? Because it is your holiness that has resided in the very center of your being while you’ve dallied with being an ego.
The temple you restore becomes YOUR altar, for it was re-built through you. And everything you give to God IS yours.
Not because it was given back to you, but because it was never taken away. And when you are letting yourself be identified properly, by neglecting to interpose some private personal definition you have applied to yourself, then you discover that …
… everything you give to God is yours.
… and always was. The transformation is not something that turns you from an illusion into something real. It’s a transformation in which the belief that you could be something illusory dissolves and leaves the presence of what you have always been, starkly and wonderfully and impressively present.
… everything you give to God IS yours. Thus He creates, and thus must YOU restore.
At this point your task is to restore what you’ve been ignoring and which you have therefore believed has been absent, but it will be restored by becoming visible, as the visibility and tangibility of you that has never been altered from what God established it as, no matter what mental imaginative gyrations you have gone through to create a biased perception of it.
Now, this is simply the truth here. It isn’t something you can fiddle around with. It just is the truth, like two plus two is four.
Each one you see you place within the holy circle of Atonement or leave outside…
Well, yes. It’s one or the other, it’s automatic.
Each one you see you place within the holy circle of Atonement or leave outside, judging him fit for crucifixion or for redemption.
This happens every day in every contact you have with anyone. And in fact, with the same person, your judgment might change every fifteen minutes, depending upon what that brother is doing.
If you bring him INTO the circle of purity, you will rest there with him. If you leave him WITHOUT, you join him there. Judge not except in quietness which is not of you.
What is the quietness that’s not of you? It’s the quietness that is not of the orphan you think you are at the moment. It’s the quietness that is of the divine you, the Holy Spirit that you have disowned so that you could play around at being an ego, until you finally get tired of playing around and let the divine one that you Are, fully into the picture.
Judge not except in quietness which is not of you. Refuse to accept anyone as WITHOUT the blessing of Atonement, and bring him INTO it by blessing him.
“Oh God, do I really have to do that? And am I going to have to do it all the time? Um-m, I have to do this holy work? Can’t I just sit down and can’t I occasionally watch a TV program or do something irrelevant?” Well, yeah, you can watch TV and engage in activities. Nobody said you couldn’t. But also, nobody asked you to do anything other than be an incredible friend. What’s the big deal? You imagine that you’re being asked to do something terribly unnatural. You’re being asked to join me in being an incredible friend.
Refuse to accept anyone as WITHOUT the blessing of Atonement, and bring him INTO it by blessing him.
How do you bless your brother? You bless your brother by holding him present in your awareness and turning to God and say, “Father, here is my brother, here is my sister—Your son, Your daughter. I know that because he or she is Your son or daughter, all that You are has found embodiment in him or her. And that is what I choose to honor, rather than the picture my brother or sister is presenting to me and rather than my best judgments, my best misperceptions of him or her. I acknowledge to You the worth and the meaning that is embodied in my brother and sister, because the worth and meaning embodied in her and embodied in him is You.” That’s how you bless him.
You hold your brother in such respect that you’re not engaging in any form of judgment or condemnation. And in the absence of it, your brother’s healing and your healing can occur.
Holiness must be shared, for therein …
… in the sharing …
… lies everything that makes it holy.
What makes anything unholy is your insistence upon being an independent agent existing on your own, creating your own reality and somehow arriving at a point where you become a real boy or a real girl, all alone.
Come gladly to the holy circle, and look out in peace on all who think they are outside. Cast no-one out, for this …
… meaning, being included in the holy circle …
… is what he seeks along with you. Come, let us join him in the holy place of peace, which is for all of us, united as one within the Cause of peace.
Come, let us join him in the holy place of peace…
In the place of incredible friendship. In the place of incredible brotherhood. In the simple place of incredible friendship.
Now I know that at times we can get going on the ego and the ego’s dynamics and blah, blah, blah. And it can sometimes be a little bit exhilarating to have the ego’s characteristics illuminated so they can be seen for their awfulness. But there’s a sweetness as you can hear tonight, in the experience that occurs when illusions are brought to truth. And the sweetness doesn’t involve all the little comeuppances that the ego probably will have to go through as it is abandoned.
And I want you all to understand that the ultimate is sweet, that Atonement is gentle, that abandoning your personality and becoming a holy man is something very grounded, very wonderful, very simple and obviously meaningful—not strange, not weird—I will say incredible beyond your expectations. But it will never be frightening.
And as we go into this next week, I want you to approach it looking for gentle transformation, gentle fulfillments that will be quite amazing but also very down-to-earth, but very unlike your Earth experience when you have approached everything as an independent agent—as a personality.
You must still practice your capacity to acknowledge guiltlessness everywhere. The sweetness of what we’ve discussed tonight, the gentleness of the truth of it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to just sort of sit back and go unconscious, get fuzzy. No. Be glad to actively engage in the one capacity that God has given you, that capacity being, to be able to acknowledge guiltlessness in everyone and everything, which means your capacity to see everyone and everything exactly as God is seeing it, exactly as God is Meaning it in His embodiment of it at this very moment, with no aspect of the awareness of it in it’s totality missing you, with no aspect of it going on outside your awareness.
Continue to insist upon holding your brother up with a devotion to experiencing his divinity, because that’s how your brother is healed, that is how you are healed, that is how the Atonement occurs.
I love you all. I love you Dennis, and everyone who has joined us on the internet. And I look forward to being with you next week in a new way.
T14.1 Guilt and Guiltlessness ↩︎