Feb 28, 2009
T15.3 Littleness versus Magnitude
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
One of the disturbing lessons in A Course In Miracles is the one that says, “Nothing I see means anything.’” And at another point, one of them says, “I see a Meaningless world.”
Well, how many of you are getting up each day and seeing a meaningless world?
How many of you are wondering whether there really is a God?
How many of you are having trouble experiencing any happiness whatsoever because you’re seeing a meaningless world?
Well, when the Course says, “Nothing I see means anything,” it means, “Nothing I see when I’m looking all by myself, means anything. Nothing I see, when I’m giving everything the definitions of what it is, means anything.”
But the fact is that you could say, “Nothing I see means anything, but everything I’m looking at means something.” This is very important. “Nothing I am seeing all by myself with my private vision means anything, but everything I’m looking at means Something—meaning it’s the evidence of God.”
So, when you get up in the morning and you see a meaningless world, don’t just sit there believing what’s going on in your mind. It may be meaningless to you at the moment, but everything you’re looking at does have divine Meaning.
Now, it’s going to be hard if you embrace this, really. It’s going to be hard to be depressed. It’s going to be hard to look at a meaningless world without curiosity. Curiosity is going to be there to know what it really means. “What is the divine Meaning?” And when curiosity presents itself and becomes active in your awareness, you’re reaching outside of your present definitions.
In effect, when you say to yourself, “I wonder what this really means?” and you’re not going to rely on your own best thinking for the answer, you are asking the Powers that be, or God, if you will. You’re breaking your isolation, you’re breaking your solid intent to pay attention to nothing other than yourself.
You are being willing to stop being the center of your attention.
When that happens, a miracle can occur. A miracle being—as we all know—a sudden shift of perception.
Again, when you are willing to abandon the position of “the center of your attention” and you are willing to enquire of God—to be curious of God to know what the truth is—there will be a shift of perception because you’re abandoning littleness for magnitude.
Now, there’s a story, whether it’s true or not, to the effect that sometime in the 1930’s, two different shoe companies sent a salesman each to Africa. And after a few months, one of the salesmen was not sending orders back to the main company in the U.S. and they sent a cable to him and said, “What’s the problem?” And the salesman wires back, “It’s a disaster. No one wears shoes!”
Now, the other salesman was sending back order after order after order for large quantities of shoes. And they were curious as to why he was so successful. And so they cabled him and he cabled back, “It’s miraculous, no one here wears shoes!”
One salesman took things at face value, you might say: No one wears shoes, no one had ever worn shoes, it was foreign to them and there would be no way to get them to change their ways and so he had no success. But, he could’ve had a sudden shift of perception so that the very thing that he saw as a problem, that being that no one wore shoes, would become the focus of great success—because no one wore shoes, everyone needed shoes!
Now, when you get up in the morning, how are you going to look at your world? Are you going to make the little gift of your poor assessment of everything that’s going on, and of your situation? Are you going to adopt the poor assessment that your news-broadcasters are presenting?
Or are you going to say, “Nothing I see means anything, but everything I’m looking at does mean Something! And I want to know what the Something is that it means.”
Now, I keep saying that that’s not too simplistic … so simplistic that it might only act as a salve on your troubled mind, but not be something that could actually be transformational. But I’m telling you, that how you use your mind determines your experience. Not because it’s powerful, but because if it is misused and you engage in an act of denying what is really there, in favor of the definition you have made up, you are going to have a sad experience. Not because there is something going on that genuinely calls for sadness, but because you are denying yourself the experience of the Kingdom of Heaven by determining that it is nothing more than a material world and universe and remaining convinced as to your definition.
Now, I’m sure that everyone, or many of you who are listening, feel a need for encouragement—some inspiration, some upliftment. And so I’m going to share something with you, but not because it’s needed right now, but because it’s simply the truth and it’s something I’ve been sharing for twenty-seven years, so it isn’t something I’ve come up with this week to jack you up a little bit.
Now the fact is, that there is a movement of Awakening occurring and has been for some years now. The reason being, that the number of those who are asleep and dreaming dreams, who are looking at the Kingdom of Heaven and determining that it’s just a material world and universe, the number of those of the Brotherhood who are bound to this small gift of their personal thinking is dwindling because they are Awakening. And as a result, the bond, you might say, between those who are still sleeping, the bond of their mutual agreements as to what the meaning of everything is, is weakening.
There are beginning to be too few, and there have been beginning to be too few of the Brotherhood convinced of their ignorance. And as that bond weakens, there is more and more spontaneous Awakening. It is inevitable. And every single one of you today, is in a better position than you were twenty years ago because the density of the dream is actually less than it was, therefore, the bonds that seem to hold you do not have the apparent structural integrity to hold you tightly any longer.
Now, we’ve been going through the Course and we’ve come to this section called, Littleness Versus Magnitude, and it has become clearer than ever before that the difference between littleness and magnitude lies in whether you’re letting yourself be the center of your attention, and whether in that space, you are letting your problems be the center of your attention. If they are, you are coming from a place of littleness, seeking solutions without abandoning the littleness. And there is no room for magnitude there.
But magnitude is your Birthright. Another way of saying that is: Wholeness is your Birthright. Not partiality. Not where all there is to you is a little part of everything and your experience is filled with little parts of everything but not all of it.
Now, when you are willing to abandon being the center of attention and you’re willing to let God be the center of attention by always asking God, “What does this mean? What does that mean? What is really going on here? What’s the divine fact that has to be going on in order for me to be having a misperception of it? What is the perfect perception of it that will eradicate the misperception and the suffering that accompanies my strong belief in my misperception?”
Magnitude, you could say, has to do with size. It’s more like volume. If you have a humungous ball and you fill the center of the ball up with air or water, there’s a certain volume inside the ball. Now, when we speak about littleness versus magnitude, when we talk about the difference between privacy and opening up to God, we’re talking about leaving an enclosure for infinity.
Now many of you have had experiences of “being big,” where you were no longer in the location that you had experienced yourself in. And although everything in that location is still there, you are embracing it all instead of being a small thing in the middle of a big environment. You experience being the environment in which all of it is going on. And there’s no other way to describe it except you are big. The volume of you embraces more than you’ve ever experienced before.
Now, when you abandon littleness, when you abandon privacy, and you open up to God and you let God be the center of your attention, you will experience or have a changed experience, you will not experience everything in the same way that you always had when you were insisting on littleness—when you were insisting on being the center of your attention.
Ultimately, magnitude means infinity—infinity as the environment of consciousness, infinity as the size, if you will, of mind, of being aware, of being the conscious experience of everything infinitely. It means that you will experience everything with God’s Vision. There’s no other way to put it. And because all is embraced within, the environment of your mind, which is itself magnitude or infinity, there is no room for or experience of partiality. There are no longer little parts. There are infinite aspects of the Oneness, but no private, separable parts.
Because of that, the experience is one of absolute safety. The experience is of such integrity, or I will say, integrity of such magnitude, that it is actually inconceivable to imagine that there could be such a thing as threat.
Again, if you see something on the news—a news flash occurs—and they say something, and they say something that is supposed to be alarming and you say, “Oh-h, shit!” you’ve made a little gift. You’ve made a gift of littleness. You’ve made a gift of thinking all by yourself. And you wouldn’t have said, “Oh-h, shit!” if you weren’t in some way going to be the recipient of the bad news. So, here you are the center of your attention, focused on a problem of yours.
You’re like the shoe salesman, “It’s disastrous … no one wears shoes!” And yet that response is not necessary.
Another phrase in the Course community that everyone knows is: “There is another way to look at this.” Oh … it rolls off people’s lips with such ease. Well listen, tomorrow morning when you get up, or tonight on the 11 o’clock news, when something comes up, say, “There is another way to look at this,” and then give your attention to God to ask, “What is the way to look at this and what is the truth that has to be going on in order for such a misperception to be occurring because I want to know the truth?” Why? Because the truth about it will negate the misperception and allow for an answer that blesses everyone—blesses everyone, doesn’t bless some and cost others.
Transformation is occurring right now, not disastrous things. Transformation is occurring. What’s needed are those who are willing to look and say, “Okay, evidently things that have worked before are no longer working. Evidently things have progressed to a point where something more streamlined or something more reasonable or some closer approximation of truth is about to come forward and I would like to know what it is. I am going to give my attention to what this newness is … what this transfiguration is … um-m.”
I went up onto the mount and there was great light and there was transfiguration. You think transfiguration doesn’t feel like something to the one who’s being transfigured? And what do you think would happen if you resisted transfiguration when it was happening? Because of course, transfiguration isn’t something that happens at your hand—at your will. And so if you’re going to try to resist what comes from, for lack of better words, a greater power—an act of divine intervention—you’re going to have difficulty doing it successfully and comfortably.
So, you’re on call here to do exactly what we’ve been reading about.
You’re on call to do the “two-step.”
You’re on call to become the shoe salesman who sells lots of shoes.
You’re on call to experience a sudden shift of perception that allows you to be the facilitator of what? Your brother being able to have a sudden shift of perception. Why? Because now that you have had it, there is someone for your brother to join with and abandon his commitment to all the other brothers who are still sleeping and insisting upon littleness and insisting upon the old that is no longer working. You see?
“Oh-h, what can you do … you know … this has to do with banks and this has to do with the economy and I don’t have a pot to pee in … I have no means!”
Well, that’s your gift of littleness. Stop making little gifts! STOP IT! It’s time to have the joy of being in your world that you have thought was a material world and universe.
It’s time for you to be in the world and have a new Vision.
It’s time for you to have the curiosity to see the Kingdom of Heaven that it Is!
And it’s time for you to turn to God for a visual aide, if you will. Ask Him to show you, ask the Holy Spirit to show you, ask those Who are Awake to show you the new Vision. And suspend your practice of doubt and fear and depression. Just suspend it! You can do it! And be in that neutral place, be in the void, be in the silence where you’re not thinking for yourself and you’re not thinking about yourself and you’re practicing curiosity.
And you know what? As part of abandoning being the center of attention, do this, do what I’m talking about for your brother and your sister, your neighbor, your acquaintances. It’s the only way it works! You have to abandon selfishness and self-centeredness. And you’ve got to embrace something outside yourself. That’s the bottom line.
You must look into your brother’s eyes and remember God. There is no other way to do it.
And now is the right time to do it. Anytime is the right time to do it. But there’s a need. You might say that divinity is pressuring you to embrace more than the limited definitions you’ve been working with for the last umpteen years.
That’s a wake up call. That’s a wonderful invitation. That’s an invitation to no longer be stuck. And the invitation is coming from One who knows that it’s not your Birthright for you to be stuck, and is therefore, able to relate to you in a way that is supportive and inspirational to you. Because the very fact that you are asked to do it is a statement that you are capable of doing it, that you are able to be in a new way, right here, right now.
Of course, it’s going to change the way you relate to your neighbors and friends and family, because you’re not going to commiserate about … oh, all the horrible stuff that’s going on in the world and the duplicity and the dishonesty and the on and on and on and on. Because of course, [chuckle] every bit of that is you thinking and sharing your thoughts. You thinking all by yourself and sharing your thoughts. And of course, if there is negativity attached to what you are saying it’s because at the bottom line in some way, you are feeling vulnerable because of what’s going on.
So there you are, the center of your attention, and there your problems are, the center of your attention. As long as that’s your focus, you will not be looking where your salvation lies. You won’t be looking in your brothers’ eyes except to see how to be best defended against whatever he’s going to do next. Because after all, you can’t trust anybody these days … you see.
So you dig yourself into a very, very private hole and a very tiny hole. A hole that immobilizes you. And you say, “Of course, I’m depressed.” [laughing] Well, of course, you’re depressed, because you’re digging a hole and climbing into it and saying, “There is no other way to look at this. There is no other way to look at this … the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. It actually is! And if it isn’t, the recovery is going to be so protracted that I won’t be around to enjoy the result and heaven knows if my children or their grandchildren will.”
Isn’t it wonderful, isn’t it amazing the gifts of littleness that you give—the little gifts that you give of your thoughts. The only thing is, that it’s like you have a paint brush and you dip the paint brush into your thoughts and you paint your face and you paint your head … you dip it in a little … you paint your arms and you paint your body. And you become the image of your little gifts. Wow, when the fact is that you are the holy Son of God Himself. And the holy Son of God Himself is painting himself with littleness and believing the definition he has covered himself up with. “I am not the holy Son of God, Himself. There is no God. If there was a God, these things wouldn’t be happening in the world. And if we were the Sons of God, we wouldn’t be doing these things in the world.”
Well, I’m telling you something real simple and something very profound: You are the Sons and Daughters of God, doing these silly things! And because you’re the Sons and Daughters of God, you don’t have to do these silly things. No one is requiring it of you, circumstances are not requiring it of you, life isn’t requiring it of you, “the way things work” aren’t requiring it of you. It’s something you just decided to try out. And by damn it you’re doing it. And it’s just really hard to see that you’re damned by what you’re doing, by damned.
Let’s go into the book, and I want to back up just a moment in the previous paragraph. It says:
You know not what love means because you have sought to purchase it with little gifts, thus valuing it too little to be able to understand its magnitude.1
In other words, the infinity of it, the endlessness of it, for lack of better words—the omnipresence of infinity. And you’ve tried to buy it with little gifts. In other words, your own thoughts that you’ve made up.
So, continuing on …
Remember that you learn not for yourself alone, no more than I did.
You see. It’s just not about you! It’s not all about you! You’re not the center of attention! You’re not the focus of attention.
Remember that you learn not for yourself alone, no more than I did. It is BECAUSE I learned for you that you can learn of me.
I learned for you, and because of that you can learn of me. Now, that needs to be translated into something practical for you. When you learn not for yourself alone, but for your brother, then your brother can learn of you. That’s the way it works.
It is BECAUSE I learned for you that you can learn of me.
And when you have learned for your brother, your brother can learn of you. It’s simple. You’ve got to give your brother something to join, something other than the brothers who are all sleeping and dreaming and committed by their mutual agreements to sleep and dream and suffer from being unconscious of what they divinely Are.
I would but teach you what is yours…
… and that’s what I’m doing all along here.
I would but teach you what is yours, so that together we can replace the shabby littleness that binds the host of God to guilt and weakness …
What’s the shabby littleness that binds the host of God? And whose the host of God? Each one of you is the host of God. Each one of you is the place where God presents Himself. The shabby littleness that binds you, the host of God, is the practice of thinking for yourself and then sharing what you’ve thought up—a gift from privacy, a gift from isolation.
I would but teach you what is yours, so that together we can replace the shabby littleness that binds the host of God to guilt and weakness with the glad awareness of the glory that is in him.
Now, I’m sharing with you the glad awareness of the glory that is in you, by pointing out to you that no matter [chuckling] who you thought your parents were and what sperm and what egg created the organism that you are, your mother, father is God and always has been. And as the Son or Daughter of God, you are the Christ and have always been. And in spite of the fact that you’ve been behaving as though you are not the holy Son of God and believing it, you have an alternative. There’s another way to look at it. There’s another way to be, because there’s a glory in you.
Now, I’ll tell you something: When you get up in the morning and you look at this meaningless world and you see how awful things are and you feel depressed and you do not feel the motivation for getting up and taking a step anywhere, not even into the shower, you are not conceiving of glory of any sort being in you. Now what that means is, that you have abandoned the awareness of the glory in you. It doesn’t mean it’s not there. It can’t go anywhere because you can’t stop being what God is expressing of Himself right there where you are, infinitely—in other words, with magnitude.
So, you don’t have to be stuck in that depression. You don’t have to be stuck in that immobilization. You must remind yourself that there is a glory in you. You must remind yourself, “I am the holy Son of God, Himself.” When you say that, what are you doing? You’re abandoning being the center of attention. You’re deferring to God as the Presence that is right where you are, being what is right there where you are. “I am not my own self-creation. I am the holy Son of God, Himself!”
Whew! That means there’s a glory in you. That means there’s a magnitude, a wholeness, an infinite wholeness to you, in which your absolute security lies, in which your invulnerability is an undisturbable fact. And even though you say, “Yeah, right! Then how come I’m experiencing it now? If I were really the Son of God, I wouldn’t be experiencing it if all this was true.” Wrong. You will experience it as long as you choose to be the center of attention. As long as you are denying what you Are, you will not be comfortable. You cannot be in a state of self-denial and be sane or comfortable. You cannot do it without experiencing the two brothers—guilt and fear. You just can’t. But you can stop having the experience, if you’ll stop holding center position.
My birth in you is your awakening to grandeur.
My birth in you …
That simply means when you let me in, when you’re willing to make room for someone other than yourself.
My birth in you is your awakening to grandeur. Welcome me not into a manger, but into the altar to holiness, where holiness abides in perfect peace.
And where is the altar to holiness? Right in the center of you.
Now that means, welcome me not into a small, tiny, limited, negative assessment of you. But welcome me into the altar to holiness, into the middle of the holy Son of God, Himself, where there is grandeur, where there is glory. Invite me in there. Invite me into the beautiful environment of your Being—the one that nothing and no one can take away from you, which means it is always there in its pristine beauty and orderliness and glory.
Welcome me not into a manger, but into the altar to holiness, where holiness abides in perfect peace.
What holiness? Your holiness.
My Kingdom is not of this world because it is in YOU.
Your kingdom is not of this world. Your kingdom is not of this world you have thought up. It is not of this world that is made up of definitions that you have superimposed over the Kingdom of Heaven. Your world is the Kingdom of Heaven that has been painted over by your definitions and which is still there exactly as God is Being It, exactly as Creation Is, in spite of the fact that you’ve attempted to cover it up with very creative and original definitions of your own.
My Kingdom is not of this world because it is in YOU. And you are of your Father. Let us join in honoring you, who must remain forever beyond littleness.
Let us join in honoring you…
Whatever I say to you about us, you need to take and say about your brother and you. If I’m the way shower, you’re the way shower. Whatever I do, because it reflects the Father’s Will, you will do because it reflects the Father’s Will. And because that’s the way things work.
Let us join …
… let you and I join …
… in honoring you, who must remain forever beyond littleness.
And then you turn to your brother and in behavior, in actions, in ideal, in intent…
… join in honoring …
… him …
… who must remain forever beyond littleness.
Decide with me, who have decided to abide with you. I will as my Father wills, knowing His Will is constant, and at peace forever with Itself. You will be content with nothing BUT His Will.
You see. That means you will have contentment only with His Will.
You will be content with nothing BUT His Will. Accept no less, remembering that everything I learned is yours. What my Father loves I love as He does…
Why? Because I’m letting God be first. I’m not the center of my attention.
What my Father loves I love as He does, and I can no more accept it as what it is not than He can. And no more can YOU. When you have learned to accept what you are, you will make no more gifts to offer to yourselves, for you will know you are complete, in need of nothing, and unable to accept ANYTHING for yourself.
… you will know you are complete, in need of nothing, and unable to accept ANYTHING for yourself.
Why? Because in order for you to have the experience of Awakening, in order for you to have the experience of the return of your sanity, you’ve got to stop doing anything by yourself. You’ve got to stop thinking for yourself, which means you’ll find yourself …
… unable to accept ANYTHING for yourself.
You see. You simply can’t help yourself. And you realize that when you give up being the center of your attention. Now, you’re …
… unable to accept ANYTHING for yourself.
And that doesn’t constitute a sad incapacity on your part. Because in the absence of doing anything for yourself, by yourself, you find that you are whole, complete. You find and experience the magnitude of your Being. You find that you are in need of nothing. You are whole.
But you will gladly give, HAVING received.
From the experience of wholeness you don’t need to get. And from the standpoint of wholeness, what you see is wholeness. And so, when you look at your brother from wholeness, you will see your brother’s wholeness and you will make the gift of wholeness to him, allowing him to abandon his little gifts and to join with you and to abandon the brothers who are committed to sleeping and dreams. And together you will Wake up.
… you will gladly give, HAVING received. The host of God …
… you …
… needs not seek to find anything.
Wow! I guess that wipes out goals, doesn’t it? A brand new way of being—being from wholeness.
Remember this is a point where you can very easily slip into letting God be first, letting God be the center of attention and Waking up. Let your brother, this week, be the stimulus for that.
I love you. Be ready for, be willing to move with and be the evidence of transformation.
T15.3 Littleness versus Magnitude ↩︎