Jan 10, 2009
T15.2 Time and Eternity
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
Well, by the time we finish tonight you might not like me as well as you do right now, because the material that we’re going to be covering tonight is frustrating material. And I’m not going to relieve you of the frustration. I’m going to push you right into the middle of it. Because if you don’t face it and you are feeling it, you won’t Wake up. If you are feeling it, you must face it.
Now, you could all look back on the time we’ve spent together since we’ve first started going through the Course, and you could notice that we started in 2002 and now it’s 2009 and you’re not Awake!
Either I’m not a very effective teacher, or you’re very dense students, or the Course is nothing but a bunch of nonsense.
Now the fact is, that you’re as good a student as you could be. And you’re not to be faulted. I am a good teacher and I am covering the material that needs to be covered and giving you the steps that it takes to Wake up.
In the process, we’ve talked about the journey without distance, we’ve talked about the fact that the only thing ever confronting you is the Kingdom of Heaven—Reality, every day in what you call this mundane physical world. I’ve been saying it isn’t a mundane physical world, it is the Kingdom of Heaven—we’ll say, seen through a glass darkly.
The journey without distance is the journey which involves abandoning the dark glass. It isn’t a matter of abandoning what you’ve seen through the dark glass, it’s abandoning the choice to see through a glass darkly. It’s a journey without distance because you’re already at your destination.
So what does that mean? It means you just don’t happen to be letting in the Reality of this mundane world and you’re only letting in the concepts about it, which your ancestors and you have developed and set into place as a means of understanding and coping with life.
I know you’ve heard me say that all that is ever confronting you is the Kingdom of Heaven, and that you need to look with innocent eyes. And you may well say, “Well, over the last five years I have been willing to look with innocent eyes and I’m still in the same rat race I was. I’m still seeing things as I used to see them. True, there have been some major shifts and my life isn’t as unpleasant as it used to be but I cannot, for the life of me, indicate to you or anyone else that I have the foggiest idea of what it means to be Awake.
“And then you tell me, it’s right in front of me and it’s a matter of how I’m choosing to look at it. And I don’t know how to do it any differently. I continue to listen to you because I have hope, but there are times that I do feel hopeless. There are times I think about not listening anymore. There are times I have stopped listening and then returned.”
I can’t be any more grounded, any more blunt, any more straight-forward than this: If, in your daily experience, in your experience of being, if you are experiencing suffering, if you are experiencing pain—hurt of any sort—something is wrong. All of you feel that. And I’m telling you that that feeling is the truth. It is not you fooling yourself, imagining that life should be without suffering, when in fact, it is a suffering condition and one that ends in death … That’s not the truth!
You could say that all ministers, all teachers of God who tell you that you do not have to suffer, that it’s not your Birthright, are just playing on some unconscious desire you have to not face the facts. And that’s not the truth. And the only way you’re going to find out that it’s not the truth is to persist in the face of your doubt, to persist in the face of your getting tired of not experiencing significant success at Awakening.
You are going to have to persist. Because you’re standing in the presence of Reality—you’re standing in the middle of Reality—Reality is the constituting presence of you. You’re not separate from it. And your having the clear undistorted experience of that fact is not only your Birthright, it is your inevitable conclusion to this dream of existence, which has as it’s bottom line characteristic, suffering—inseparable from Being.
Now, we go into the book and it says:
How long can it take to be where God would have you? For you ARE where you have forever been and will forever be.1
Now you can read that sentence quickly and move on and not stay with it and not face what it means and therefore, not be frustrated. But it says …
… you ARE where you have forever been and will forever be.
And it follows the sentence that says …
How long can it take to be where God would have you?
… you ARE where you have forever been and will forever be.
And that is where God would have you.
Now that doesn’t mean that God would have you be in an experience of conflict and suffering. It means that God would have you be in the clear conscious awareness of Reality as It is, and not as you’re currently experiencing it.
Because that is where God would have you, and because that is where you are, then there’s no process for you to go through. There’s no lifetimes in which you are to refine your soul and become equal to Reality or deserving of Reality. There is not a process of overcoming guilt for things you did wrong that you must pay for before you can enjoy freedom and the clear true experience of Reality.
Now, what if you’ve been a teacher of some of these processes by which your soul gets refined or your student’s souls get refined, and I sit here and say that there is no process and therefore, what you’ve been doing doesn’t fit—doesn’t match—is incongruent with the fact that it’s a journey without distance, that you’re already there, your soul is already pristine, unchanged from the way God created it and the way God is expressing it in this moment?
You’re not going to be happy with the news.
And those of you who have been students of teachers who have enjoyed the experience of doing what felt like growing, you’re not going to be happy with the news either, because participating in the exercises that are a part of the process is not going to actually cause you to have the final experience you’re after, which is to Awaken and to experience Reality.
And so, if you’ve made a sort of career of being on your spiritual path, you’re going to have to give up your career. You’re going to have to give up what you perceive to be your reason for having hope and your reason for moving forward and your reason for simply getting up in the morning with expectancy.
Now, [chuckle] without those things, those concepts, those perceptions which you had developed and put in place that made getting up in the morning worth it, how are you going to get up in the morning and feel that it’s worth it to have gotten up? What’s going to cause you to go to bed at night with anything other than depression, because what the hell use is it to get some sleep when there’s no thing to get up for if you can’t engage in the thing that establishes in your mind a sense of worth?
You see … we go on to the next frustrating sentence:
All that you have, you have forever.
That’s not very satisfying. You probably are at a point where you read that …
All that you have, you have forever.
And you recognize that all that you have is in actuality, more than what you’re presently experiencing. So there’s a little bit of room for expectancy there and a little uplift within you, you know …
All that you have, you have forever.
But, even so, after everything that you have done to try to get yourself in the place where you can experience that, you’re still not experiencing it.
And you know what? When you really take a look at this and it’s not sugar coated, it makes you angry. Not only is it hard to have a reason to get up in the morning without expectation of anything wonderful, you find it worthwhile to become upset about anything and everything. But first of all, probably that, why didn’t anyone tell you that doing all this work to refine your soul wasn’t going to get you what you wanted. Why didn’t anyone tell you sooner, that you don’t have the capacity to be an independent authorizer?
Now, the fact is that if somebody had told you sooner, you would have gotten frustrated and angry sooner.
You see, none of you realize the degree to which you have been conditioned and the degree to which you have conditioned yourselves to find purpose for being in nonsense. And that what isn’t nonsense involves your having the opportunity to experience worth and meaning without your having to do a single thing to deserve it … without having to do a single thing to have it … without being able to do anything that you can take credit for and yet still have it all.
You don’t like being faced with a gift that removes any possibility of your being able to get credit for what you’ve received. And I’m telling you, that as you get close to an awareness that the only step there is in the “process of Awakening” is yielding and saying, “Yes” to God, what happens is, you become faced with becoming a “kept woman” or a “kept man,” somebody who just “has” for no good reason. And if achieving your good has what has given you meaning, you’re going to see this step as entering into a meaningless experience.
Now I have to tell you this clearly so that you might be willing to purposely and consciously step into this apparently meaningless experience so that you might actually have the experience of having all that God is added unto you because it always has been yours, and it always has been your Birthright to be experiencing it. And yet, the only way you can experience it, is to do an apparently senseless thing: Abandon the intent to engage in acts that establish a worth for you that wasn’t fundamentally yours to begin with.
The blessed instant reaches out to encompass time, as God extends Himself to encompass you.
Oh-oh, now what’s this blessed instant again? Let’s remember it’s not a point in time—it’s not a moment in time. It is a place in you where there is a willingness to engage in the act of yielding and saying, “Yes” to God. In other words, being willing to shut up and become attentive, listening, with a desire to be infilled with God’s Perspective which is the undistorted experience of Reality, the undistorted experience of the Kingdom of Heaven which you have been looking at and calling the earth and the universe—a material universe, that began from a big bang and had nothing to do with God.
So, this blessed instant of willingness to yield and say, “Yes” to God, reaches out to encompass time. In other words, when you relax and abandon your willful intent to be something that you have created out of whole cloth yourself—out of nothing—and turned yourself into something real, when you abandon that, and allow yourself to be in the emptiness of no willful act whatever, that absence of control, that absence of imagined and created structure within you that you have brought into existence through the use of your logic and your mind, that, the absence of that will, like silly putty, relax and spread out infinitely so that it embraces everything including what you’ve called, “time” because you’re not blocking the experience of Reality by virtue of your theories and ideas and aggressive acts of willfulness that seemed to give you presence.
And in the absence of that false generated tension that you have called, “presence,” the conscious awareness that you Are begins to register with you as the conscious experience of Being that is what you Are, and it swallows up time.
God extends Himself to encompass you.
But that’s not special. That’s not something that happens at a particular time. God’s extension of Himself to encompass you is called Creation. It’s called God Being you. Now … now … now … now … now … infinitely, eternally, forever uninterruptedly. Not even separated enough to say, “Now… now… now … now … now.”
So, the …
… blessed instant …
… of your willingness to yield and say, “Yes” to God …
… reaches out to encompass time, as God extends Himself to encompass you. You who have spent days, hours, and even years in chaining your brothers to your egos in an attempt to support it …
… your egos …
… and uphold its weakness, do not perceive the Source of STRENGTH.
You thought strength was what you accrued by the skillful manipulation of your brothers and sisters so that they would acknowledge you and bolster your ego and prove that it is valid, that it has existence, and thus make of you a “real boy” or a “real girl.”
But that’s not strength. Strength, which we touched on last time, is the unalterability, the absolute unchangeableness of you because of what you Are, not because of what you do. And what you Are is, what God is Being right where you Are in all of His Perfection and therefore, you are invulnerable. Not because you have power, but because you’re unconflicted in actuality. Because peace is the nature of your Being, the substance of your Being, and you’re not arguing with that fact anymore.
That’s strength. And it’s the absence of fear.
In the holy instant you will unchain ALL your brothers, and refuse to support either THEIR weakness or your OWN.
You will no longer try to manipulate them to support your weakness to strengthen you with a strength that isn’t actual. And you will not join them in supporting theirs.
Now, we’ve talked about this before, and some of you have had the feeling that what I meant was, that in not supporting another’s weakness or another’s ego, or another’s misperception, that you confront them with their misperceptions. And therefore, you say, “I will not join you in your bad behavior! I will not join you in this terrible attitude you’re expressing!” And you convict them of a bad attitude and you claim they’re responsible for it by saying, “It’s their behavior!”
That’s not how you refuse to support their weakness. That’s how you confirm their weakness. How do you no longer support their weakness? By stopping in your tracks when another invites you, through bad behavior, to respond to them and bolster their ego by either getting mad at it, angry with it and creating friction that seems to create a sense of presence or with false praise for the bad behavior that also seems to strengthen it.
But in actuality, to not support it means that you’ve been willing to do the two-step. You’ve been willing to step back and say, “Father,” ah-h see, abandon the isolation … “Father,” see you’re getting ready to yield and say, “Yes” to God, … “Father, what is the truth here?” And as I’ve said before, this doesn’t mean, “What’s the truth of his problem?” but, “What does this one need to know? What’s the truth that this one is unaware of which, if he were aware of, he would no longer express himself in this negative manner?” Because a fear which is causing the behavior would be put to rest, you see. Because clarity was provided, and replaced that which elicited the negative behavior—the call for love instead of the expression of love.
Before you confront a brother with his faults, stop long enough to desire to know of the Father, “What is the missing piece of inspiring and healing truth that this one is unaware of, which if he were aware of it, would negate his feeling a need to behave poorly.” And if you don’t get it right away, keep your mouth shut until you do hear what needs to be shared, so that what you say comes out as that which is really an answer, not just a retort that puts them in their place and makes it clear to them that they’re wrong and that you’re not going to join them.
You do not realize how much you have misused your brothers by seeing them as sources of ego support. As a result, they witness TO the ego in your perception, and SEEM to provide reasons for not letting it go.
Well, of course, [chuckling] anytime your ego gets supported, you are very appreciative and you’re not really about to let go of that brother who ignorantly is supporting what doesn’t really work for you, and really keeps you ignorant of the truth about you that is a Birthright of fulfillment beyond your wildest expectations.
As a result, they witness TO the ego in your perception, and SEEM to provide reasons for not letting it go. Yet …
… and here’s the important point … and it’s the point that’s part of what’s frustrating, that you need to look squarely at:
Yet they are far stronger and much more compelling witnesses for the Holy Spirit. And they support His STRENGTH. It is, therefore, your choice whether they support the ego or the Holy Spirit in YOU.
You see …[sigh] it’s therefore your choice how you’re going to see them. And we’ve brought out in the Course that it’s very simple. Your brother is always doing one of two things: Expressing Love or expressing a call for love. The expression of Love is recognized as loving. A call for love is recognized as bad behavior. A call for love is attack in one form or another, disrespect in one form or another directed at you, directed at anyone else other than the one expressing the bad behavior.
Now, if you want to be a good ego, you’re going to interpret the call for love as bad behavior and you’re going to respond with bad behavior. It’s very simple. You can do that real easy … very easily. It’s habit, it’s well developed habit.
In fact, you’ll find that as you get close to the point where you are needing to yield and say “Yes” to God, because you’re at the last step, so-to-speak, or very near the last step, you’re going to find your skill at being angry coming to the foreground. And, oh boy, will you be able to dish out bad behavior, bad language … lousy verbalizations of hate. You’ll be able to do it so easily and you’ll be inclined to do it about everything … it’ll be the way the cat walked across the room or held his tail, or how come the carpet isn’t clean … “Why doesn’t anybody take care of anything!”
It will be everything. Because the last expressions of anger at having to let go of what’s been meaningful to you—which is that which builds you up in your own mind by your own acts and makes a real boy or girl for you—letting that go is not a happy thing. It has meant so much to you. It’s so deeply ingrained in you, that all you know is, that it’s justifiable to be mad at life itself and vent it.
I’ve talked before about how the ego puts gargoyles up around the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven to scare you away, when you’re right there at the threshold. Well likewise, the ego, your bad habits of expression that are used to build you up in your own mind, they come to the foreground right at the last minute too.
And what do they do? They distract you from remembering that all you’re confronted with in actuality is the Kingdom of Heaven, perceived through a glass darkly, or perceived truly and clearly. It distracts you from that and all you see is the justification for being angry. And you can be an angry teenager, or you can be an angry thirty-year-old, or you can be a crotchety old man.
But it all boils down to the same thing: You don’t want to let go of control.
You don’t want to yield to the way things work. You don’t even want to ask how things work, because you want the satisfaction of determining how things work through your own hard study and your own efforts, so that you can take the credit … and, so what! So everyone else can be manipulated into confirming for you the way you want to see things, and the way you want to believe things are. You misuse everyone to support your ego.
Now, I’m pointing out to you here, that when you come to this frustrating point that we’re talking about, it’s because you’re at a threshold. You’re at an important threshold of Waking up. And unbeknownst to your kept well hidden from your sight by you, you willingly engage in reactions, anger, venting your frustration and just generally being unpleasant, difficult to be around.
Now, I’m going to back up …
You do not realize how much you have misused your brothers by seeing them as sources of ego support. As a result, they witness TO the ego in your perception, and SEEM to provide reasons for not letting it go. Yet they are far stronger and much more compelling witnesses for the Holy Spirit.
Yeah, and when you’re angry and frustrated you say, “Oh-h…yeah…yeah… yeah…right! That slob over there, he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground … and he doesn’t behave well … he doesn’t even keep himself clean. He doesn’t know a thing about God … he doesn’t even have a respectable job!”
Listen to you. Listen to the anger in you. Listen to how you’re misusing your brother by determining him to be something other than that which is strengthening the Holy Spirit, by determining that he is not what he is, and believing your determination and laying it on him.
Oh, maybe you don’t say anything to him. But you know what? In the absence of your true apprehension of him, you are absent from his experience as that which elicits from him what’s true about him. And so, where you are in his experience is a place of emptiness. You’re not going to get involved with him. He knows you’re not involved with him and don’t want to be involved with him and so he’s faced with that absence of you performing your function of recognizing God right there where your brother is.
So, your brothers …
… are far stronger and much more compelling witnesses for the Holy Spirit. And they support His STRENGTH. It is, therefore, your choice whether they support the ego or the Holy Spirit in YOU.
When you are willing to look at your brother or sister who is expressing a call for love, which means expressing bad behavior, you are putting yourself in the first stage of being willing to ask God for what the truth is there, where your brother is. You’re taking the first step of yielding to the Father and saying, “Yes” to God.
It is, therefore, your choice whether they support the ego or the Holy Spirit in YOU. And you will know which you have chosen by THEIR reactions. A Son of God who has been released through the Holy Spirit in a brother, if the release is COMPLETE, is ALWAYS recognized.
When you are expressing love and that expression of love is in no way manipulative for the purpose of bringing about some end goal that is to your benefit, it is felt for what it is by a brother. And that brother feels blessed and opens his mouth and acknowledges his joy … and you can hear by his response what you have given and where you’ve been coming from.
Now, what you really need to understand is, that just as with God, Who is extending all that He Is to you, Who would have you be where He would have you be and therefore you are where He would have you be, the fact that He extends that to you doesn’t mean that you’ve recognized it yet. And you can still walk around saying, “Wait a minute, I get the picture. You know, intuitively I’m sensing something that’s different from the way I feel and the way I believe. And maybe, indeed, it’s inspiration coming from the Father … but … but … but … I’m going to have to contemplate this. I’m going to have to measure this according to my best theories and my calculations. And I’m going to have to come to my own conclusions about it.” And all the while you’re doing that, you’re not standing in receipt of what’s being given, because you want to be in charge.
And when you make a gift to a brother who is still insisting upon not receiving it without running it through his particular mental sieve, his behavior will not reflect back to you the nature of the gift you’ve given. And it doesn’t mean you’ve done it wrong. It doesn’t mean you could have done it better.
The brother who sees your love and is blessed by it … feels blessed by it, and raises his voice in appreciation of it, that’s because you did something right and he did something right. And the one to whom you extend the love, who still treats you poorly, it means you did something right and that other one hasn’t done something right yet, and still has learning to do, still has yielding to do. He’s simply not yet at the point where he’s willing to yield and say, “Yes” to God.
Making the gift does not constitute a means of controlling your brother or sister into their good, any more than God’s Gift to you is a means God has for controlling you into your good.
Understand this, so that you don’t frustrate yourself further when you read:
… you will know which you have chosen by THEIR reactions.
If your brother is stubborn and has not released his stubbornness, it means there is further listening for you to do to find the key log in the log jam. But don’t let the lack of recognition of your gift cause you to doubt yourself and abandon the giving of the gift.
A Son of God who has been released through the Holy Spirit in a brother, if the release is COMPLETE, is ALWAYS recognized.
Again, what you must understand is that your gift contributes to the release, but your brother has to participate in the release, just as you do. You have to participate. “It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Oh you’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, you’ve heard it. But you won’t experience the receipt of that gift until you are willing to say, “Yes” to God. You have to do your part. Your brother has to do his part.
A Son of God who has been released through the Holy Spirit in a brother, if the release is COMPLETE, is ALWAYS recognized. He cannot BE denied. As long as you remain uncertain, it can be only because you have not given complete release.
“Oh-h, isn’t this frustrating … Hu-h, I’m doing it, I’m doing it, I’m doing it and I’m still not seeing the fruit of it … I’m doing it, I’m doing it … and I’m getting tired of doing it and I’m getting upset, because supposedly this is a journey without distance, and I’m already at my destination. You see.
And the frustration and the anger builds and you become a massive block to your Awakening by that use of your mind, of your Being. And you’ve got to arrive at a point where you say, “I won’t do this anymore. I am going to persist. I’m going to persist in yielding and say, ‘Yes’ to God. I’m going to continue to listen forever if I have to—if it takes forever.”
When Paul first reached out for guidance, [snaps fingers] it didn’t come instantaneously. And he had to do it for many days—many more days than he thought he ought to have to do it, many less days than a lot of people. But the point is, that when he arrived in his experience at a situation that was utterly frustrating because he no longer had control, he finally had arrived at a point where he would be serious about yielding. He would be serious about yielding and saying, “Yes” to God—serious enough to persist day after day, after day, after day, after day because he had arrived at a point where there really was nothing better to do, because nothing was being presented to him to do. He was unable to control or be in charge of anything in any practical, helpful way.
And so, in that circumstance he became very practical. And he said, “If I have to sit for a year listening, I will sit for a year listening without impatience, without trying to twist the universe’s arm for a [snaps fingers] quick result.”
You see what we’re talking about here? We’re talking about being faced with an experience of suffering, in one form or another, which you are feeling within you truly is not your Birthright, is not appropriate, is not justifiable. And yet, you seem to have no way to become free of it.
Well, as long as you think maybe it isn’t absolutely required yet, you’ll play around—you’ll fool around. You don’t have to. You could go ahead and be as diligent as you ultimately will be when you arrive in a position that Paul was in, where you have no means of control no matter what you try and you finally realize … you finally realize that you gotta ask for help from God. And nothing else will work. And you’ll engage in nothing else, because it won’t work.
And so, you yield and you say, “Yes” to God. And maybe you say, “Yes, yes, yes,” day after day, after day, until you’re saying, “Yes” without impatience … until you say, “Yes” without frustration … until you say, “Yes” without justifying any emotional energy being interjected into the process, except allowing—being willing.
I know, you can get through your day tomorrow doing it the way you’ve always done it, or you can decide that tomorrow is the day that you’re going to begin acting as though you don’t really have any other choice. And you are going to ask God moment-by-moment, “What’s the truth here? What do I need to know here? What should I do next? I will willingly be your puppet, Father. I yield to You.”
As long as you remain uncertain, it can be only because you have not given complete release. You see. You’re still holding on to some strings of authority and practice of manipulation relative to your brother.
And because of this, you have not given one single instant COMPLETELY to the Holy Spirit.
You haven’t said, “Yes” to God.
For when you have, you will be SURE you have. You will be sure because the witness to Him …
… your Brother …
… will speak so clearly of Him
… God …
… that you will hear and UNDERSTAND.
Now, I must say this: Do not frustrate yourself by picking the potential witness to God who is still refusing to acknowledge God in you and the love you are expressing. Stop choosing that person or that kind of relationship as the measuring stick of your devotion and “your success” in the process of Waking up. Persist with those who are resistant.
And those who recognize the love, who are moved and whom you can see are healed in the process, rejoice with them. Let their recognition embrace you and confirm to you that you’re actually moving past the inclination to indulge in frustration and anger and justify all the means you have at your beck-and-call to avoid Waking up.
This is a difficult subject. But to frustrate you further: Just remember that the difficulty is relative to a journey without distance—the difficulty you’re having in being willing to see the Kingdom of Heaven right where the world and universe, as you have known it, seems to be.
And so, it’s not complicated and it’s not really difficult. So persist, persist, persist. And use some self-discipline this week.
And I look forward to being with you next week.
T15.2 Time and Eternity ↩︎