Jan 2, 2010
T16.1 True Empathy
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
I won’t ask how everyone did on Christmas Day in terms of joining with me, but I do want to address the practical fact that you all forget to maintain the contact. And it is totally understandable that you do. It is not something that you should continue to do but it is understandable. You’re in the habit of thinking—you say, “thinking on my feet”—thinking in the moment, being ready with an answer when it’s needed spontaneously with the best intelligence you can bring to bear upon the situation.
You are not used to hesitating. You want to be “Johnny-on-the-spot!” And yet, the call is for hesitation if you want to get out of the habit of loneliness, if you want to get out of the habit of being alone—isolated and uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because that is not natural to you and your innate sanity still holds sway and lets you know that you’re not supposed to be comfortable doing things all by yourself.
Now, something that might help you get the feel for taking advantage of the holy instant is the children’s game called, “Mother, may I?” It’s a game in which there’s one person who gives directions to however many other kids are playing together, and he will say, “Mary, stand on one foot!” and she’s supposed to say, “Mother, may I?” before she does it and get an answer, “yes or no.”
The skill that’s brought into play is brought into play by the person giving the directions because it’s his or her task to give the direction in such a way that the person will respond without saying, “Mother, May I?”
Now, as you go through your day, when you’re having an encounter with a Brother or Sister, when you have to make a decision, when it comes time to vacuum the floor, instead of saying, “Mother may I?” You need to say, “Holy Spirit, are you with me? Holy Spirit, may I begin now? Raj, is it time to do this?” And start out with yes or no questions, questions that can be answered, yes or no. Because you will find yourself able to hear the yes or no answers more easily than a complex answer.
Now, you’re going to find that if you’re taking this seriously, that your ego is going to object. “Come-on, you mean I’ve gotta ask every single time? You’ve gotta ask every single time, that’s not right—just do it!—just do it! You know how to vacuum the floor, you know how to load the dishwasher, you know how to wash the car …”
Well, you may know how to do those things, but when you’re doing them by yourself, you’re impaired. You are not experiencing the fullness of your Being that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing. And as we’ve discussed, it causes you to see this world in which you’re doing these things all by yourself, as something other than the Kingdom of Heaven. Why? Because it’s the only way you can see it from a private mind—from a mind that is functioning, it thinks, entirely on its own.
The reason for remembering to say, “Mother, may I?,” the reason for remembering to say, “Should I do this now, shall we do this together?” is to consistently break the conscious awareness of aloneness—of independence. The purpose of it is not to insult you but to cause you to be in a state of mind which is an invitation to be doing something together with Someone else.
Now, we ended up last week referring to the Holy Spirit as your Redeemer: That which is nothing more than your right Mind is the Redeemer of the private little you that you think you are, because when you let your right Mind back in, when you let it register with you, your sanity returns to you.
Attempt to teach Him not. YOU are the learner.
See, you’ve got to realize your position—your function—your role:
YOU are the learner; He the teacher.
See, right there, that’s insulting. You grew up, you finished school, you went out into the world and you’ve succeeded to one degree or another. And now, you’re to be the learner? And the Holy Spirit is to be the Teacher? And because it’s the Holy Spirit, it’s some ultimate teacher that you might think twice about disregarding? How insulating—that’s a backward step. That’s losing your independence that you worked so hard to achieve.
YOU are the learner;
… nevertheless …
He the Teacher. Do not confuse your role with His, for this will never bring peace to anyone. Offer your empathy to Him…
Let the Holy Spirit’s perspective mean more to you than your present perspective. And I want to embellish this a little bit. When you are interested in experiencing the Holy Spirit’s perspective, that perspective is not an intellectual perspective. It’s not a lot of words pulled together in an explanation that makes sense. The Holy Spirit’s perspective does know the truth, does involve the truth but it also involves soul. It also involves Principle, it also involves Love: Meanings of great depth and great significance which, when you let them in, when you let the Holy Spirit’s perspective in, which is ultimately your true perspective, it’s not just a mental intellectual experience, it’s a heart experience, it’s a soul experience. It is a God experience—impactful, if you will: Significantly meaningful.
So this is the perspective that you are leaning into—that you’re inviting—that you’re willing to defer to. And I’ll tell you something: If your perspective doesn’t involve any of those things I just mentioned, then it would be extremely interesting and meaningful to try something new, like practicing the holy instant.
Offer your empathy to Him…
… offer your interest to know the truth of Him, to feel the Love of Him, to have no other mind, in so many words, than the Mind that is creating the Universe.
Offer your empathy to Him, for it is HIS perception and HIS strength that you would share.
Now I know that’s not your habit. That’s not been your life-long habit or even perhaps, an hour’s worth of habit, consistently. But that’s what this is all about. That’s what abandoning the orphanage is all about. It’s about rejoining with your Source as a full conscious experience.
Offer your empathy to Him, for it is HIS perception and HIS strength that you would share.
You’ve got to be willing to abandon wanting to share your perspective because you want to have and you deserve to have a fuller experience of Reality than you’re having.
And let Him offer you His strength and His perception…
… to be shared through you.
You see, you’re not only going to listen, you’re not only going to desire to know the truth of the Holy Spirit, you’re going to desire to know it so that you may share It, instead of your pet theories, and instead of your best reasonings.
Like we said last week, if any of this is of value, let it change you.
Now, I want to refer once again to something I shared a few weeks ago from the Course:
There is another advantage, – and a very important one, – in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency.
That means availing yourself of the holy instant with increasing frequency.
Hopefully, every time an opportunity for action comes up and you say, “Mother, may I? Father, may I? Holy Spirit, will you be with me while I do this? Will you let me know if I shouldn’t be doing it, or if I should be doing it differently? I want to know what is appropriate and I don’t want to lean unto my own understanding. I want to know of You. Why? Not because I’m unimportant, but because I don’t want my perceptions to be distorted by an insistence on my part to behave as though I am all alone and so that I turn a deaf ear to the Source of my enlightenment and of my good. I want to experience my wholeness again instead of my tiny privateness. That’s why.”
Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect but its centrality is obvious.
… and here it is:
To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt.
Why? Why would that be? Because the only thing that introduces guilt into the mix is your insistence upon trying to do things independently which constitutes a denial of your Source—a blocking out of That which is your Cause—That which is your reason for Being, not your reason in your mind, but the divine Reason for your existence is that God is Being you, right now … right now … right now … and nothing else ever is.
When you’re willing to make that joining, you’ve abandoned the position of independence. And in the abandonment of independence, guilt and fear disappear. It’s that simple … it’s that simple … it’s that simple!
This book, A Course In Miracles, is a big book, thousands of words, many complex ideas expressed. But every single one of those complex ideas and explanations leads to one thing: You abandoning your independence. Your participating in the holy instant.
To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance…
… to follow the Guidance of That which is nothing more than your right Mind…
… is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum.
In other words, it’s the bottom line of what all of this learning is about that we’re engaging in.
The imagined usurping of functions not your own …
… in other words, you’re taking on functions that aren’t yours, your imagining that you have taken on functions that aren’t yours …
… is the basis of fear. The whole world you see …
The whole world you see reflects the illusion you have done so…
… it reflects the fact that you think you’ve done that…
… making fear inevitable. To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs…
… which is the Holy Spirit…
… is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you.
Oh-h, that’s no small thing, is it! . . the return of the memory of Love. Something that you have not been able to feel fully ever since fear took form and held its ground, you might say, as you persisted in trying to behave as though you were an independent entity in your own right.
Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies.
You know, think not that the Holy Spirit’s Guidance is helpful for “poor little independent you” to get a better toe-hold in his independent world and manage things better and become more successful.
Do not then think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies.
It is the way out of hell for you. It’s the way out of the experience of inadequacies. It’s the way out of having to find ways to compensate for inadequacies, without ever becoming actually adequate.
The practice of “Mother, May I?” all through your day, in effect, your turning to the Father, or your turning to the Holy Spirit, or your turning to me, or your turning to your Guide, that practice persistently engaged in, causes you to experience being with Something other than yourself. It constitutes a willingness to not be the grand one in his own right and the one who consequently finds his life full of suffering because he’s trying to be something it’s impossible for him to be. You see?
If this is valuable, let it change you. Let it bring you out of hell. Let it bring you into a daily experience where you feel the fact that you haven’t been alone for a moment, and where you feel the support of that One who’s joined with you and so that you experience a transformation of your mind which causes you to see the Kingdom of Heaven more like the Kingdom of Heaven, than the material world and universe that you had been defining it as.
Now, going into the Book …
The meaning of love is lost in any relationship which looks to weakness and hopes to find love there.
And remember, last week we determined that weakness is the description of the place from which you do everything when you are claiming to be an orphan and proud of it! Or, even that you’re claiming to be an orphan and you’re miserable, but you have no other choice. That’s the place of weakness because you’re like a toaster that isn’t plugged into the wall, or a lamp that isn’t plugged into the wall. There’s no means of turning you on. There’s no means of your function being fulfilled. The lamp just can’t shine without joining with Something else. And neither can you.
The meaning of love is lost in any relationship which looks to weakness …
… in other words, any relationship which is based upon your interpreting everything about it from a premise that says you’re independent and on your own and ultimately, that you’re just a result of a physical process called, “evolution” and there’s nothing divine about you.
The meaning of love is lost in any relationship which looks to weakness, and hopes to find love there. The power of love, which IS its meaning, lies in the strength of God, which hovers over it and blesses it silently by enveloping it in healing wings.
You see, that’s what’s missing when you do anything on your own. When you try to be “loving” all by yourself as the ultimate development of evolution, an organism called, “man” the most complex of all organisms—the height, crowning height of evolution. But everything you do from there is minus the strength of God because the strength of God doesn’t hover over it and doesn’t bless it silently by enveloping it in healing wings.
Now, I’m going to clarify a little bit: The strength of God hovers over you always and blesses you silently all the time. But I promise you, that when God is no part of your awareness, and when your behavior arises out of an absolute sense of independence, the reality of God’s Love and its blessing is invisible to you and the point is, it’s not supposed to be. You’re supposed to be feeling it every moment.
You want to experience the fact that the Meaning of love is its power, and its power …
… lies in the strength of the Presence of God which hovers over it and blesses it silently by enveloping it in healing wings. LET this be, and do not try to substitute YOUR “miracle” for this.
See, it’s “Mother, may I ?… Father, may I? … Father, will you share with me what I need to do? … Holy Spirit, will you reveal to me what is appropriate here in the context of God Being all there is? I don’t want even the best thing I can imagine, I don’t want my miracle, I don’t want what I think what the miracle ought to be, because I don’t have the whole picture. I don’t know enough to know what would constitute a miracle. Please fill me in. Please fill me up.
We once said that if a brother asks a foolish thing of you to do it. But be certain that this does not mean to do a foolish thing that would hurt either him or you, for what would hurt one will hurt the other. Foolish requests are foolish for the simple reason that they conflict, because they contain an element of specialness.
Now, another part of the problem here is that if you respond to the request to do something foolish as an orphan, all by your competent little self, well, the strength of God is missing and you’re going to miss the mark. Why? Because you didn’t stop first and say, “Father, may I?” You didn’t stop first and say, “What is the appropriate response to this foolish request?” You see?
Only the Holy Spirit recognizes foolish needs as well as real ones. And He will teach you how to meet both without losing either.
In either case, you won’t lose the opportunity to be the Presence of That which fulfills purpose and blesses everyone.
YOU will attempt to do this only in secrecy.
What does that mean? It means that your gonna say, “Father, I’d rather do it my way” and then you’re gonna come off and you’re gonna pretend that you have become invisible to God and in this little place that you’ve created for yourself of independence, you’re gonna do something in secret and what you’re gonna do in secret is help all these other little orphans who are, in their little secret places, being secretive. You see?
It’s like a fetus without an umbilical cord. Right now, you’re all like fetuses without umbilical cords. How long are you going to last? You can’t continue to deny your nourishment, you can’t continue to deny your Birthright and stand in a place where you’re blocking it’s receipt even though it’s being given to you … given to you … given to you … eternally.
YOU will attempt …
… as an orphan …
… to do this only in secrecy …
… to do everything in secrecy.
And you will think that, by meeting the needs of one you do not jeopardize another because you keep them separate, and secret from each other.
So you have this little special relationship with this other little secretive guy over here … and you think that because you’re doing it secretively with him, and secretly away from the Father and secretly with Him but secretly away from all your other Brothers, and the Father, that it’s of no consequence to anyone and it may well, you hope, cause this one you’re helping secretly with your own private skill, to become a friend—somebody who likes you—somebody who will honor you, someone who will tell you you’re real and that you are meaningful. You see?
That is not the way, for it leads not to light and truth.
You see, what you do in your imagination secretly with a Brother, is not done in private and all of the Brotherhood feels it. And so, because you don’t realize the unity of the whole of the Brotherhood, you lose in the process even if your secretive Brother likes you for what you’re doing. And you lose the experience of your Brotherhood with everyone else and everyone else loses their experience of their Brotherhood with you and all of the, I’m going to say, elegant manifestations of love that you’re able to bring forth.
So everyone loses. Absolutely everyone loses.
But, (it doesn’t say “but” here, I’m saying, “but”) Continuing …
No needs will long be left unmet if you leave them all to Him Whose FUNCTION is to meet them.
“Mother, may I? May I do it now? Is now the time to do it? Is this the thing to do? What is the thing to do? I want not to do anything until I’ve heard from you. I know that I will have to continue doing the best I can until I hear you, but my new ongoing desire is for You to tell me before I feel I must act, what is appropriate, so that everyone is blessed because I’m not doing it privately. I’m not doing it secretly. I’m not doing it in the way that causes me to be totally unconscious of the Kingdom of Heaven when I’m right in the middle of it.”
No needs will long be left unmet if you leave them all to Him Whose FUNCTION is to meet them.
This is where the clarity is. That is His function and not yours.
I know that might seem, as I’ve said before, harsh. That is His function and not yours. “What do you mean, I don’t have any function?” Yes you do, but doing it by yourself is not your function. And you won’t find out what is your function until you stop and you defer to Him Who knows, which you can dare to do with integrity because I’m telling you that He Who knows what to do is nothing more than your right Mind. And therefore, to yield to it is to yield to the integration of you in your totality.
But in order to have that experience, you’ve got to be willing to say, “I, as I know myself at this moment, don’t know for sure. And I want to know. And so I’m not going to look to myself for the answer. I’m not going to look to the poor little orphan, who’s done a pretty good job in this life. I’m not going to look to that for the answer. You see? “Father, help break the isolation, establish the union.”
… leave them all to Him Whose FUNCTION is to meet them. That is His function, and not yours. He will not meet them secretly…
… you see the big difference? A little private entity does things secretly. That which is the Son or Daughter of God does things wholly, all inclusively, and experiences the unity of the whole.
… for He would share everything you give through Him. And that is WHY He gives it. What you give through Him is for the whole Sonship, NOT for part of it.
When you say, “Holy Spirit, what do I need to know here?” And what you need to know is revealed to you, and you know how to behave because you know what the truth is, and your behavior reflects the love that is the Meaning of it and the Principle that is the nature of it, and the Truth that is the essence of it. Absolutely everything and everyone is blessed. Because your action is an uninhibited expression of the Father’s Will.
Wow … something to be hoped for and appreciated in every instant that it happens during your days. And the thing is, that you need to be willing to play this “Mother, may I?” game, spiritualized, we’ll say. So that everything you do, you ask for help from the Father, or you ask for help from the Holy Spirit. You do the two-step, you hesitate, and you say, “Help!” And you don’t immediately begin to try to figure things out for yourself. You say, “Help” and you listen because you actually expect an answer to come from someplace other than your imagination.
Leave Him His function, for He will fulfill it if you but ask Him to enter your relationships, and bless them FOR you.
You see? This involves a shift in you. You’ve got to let a willingness to not be number one in your life, occur and make room for that which actually is Number One. You could say, That of you which is utterly sane and whole and complete. You’ve got to make room for It. And you’ve got to make room for It to enter and bless your relationships for you.
Now remember, I talked before about the fact that you’re in relationship with everything: You’re in relationship with the wall, the floor, the flowers, the birds, the trees. You walk down the street and you enjoy them—you see them—you’re in relationship with them. You’re in infinite relationships right now.
The need is for you to bring the Holy Spirit into all of those relationships. You need to be willing to say and mean it, “I don’t really know what my relationship with the wall is. I have no idea what a holy relationship with the wall might mean. I have no idea what the holiness of the wall feels like. I have no experience of what its divine Meaning is or what its function is. But I want to know.”
You might as well all be babies at this moment. Because you are in a world that you know nothing of even though you think you know pretty much a lot about it. But there is so much of what it divinely is and what it divinely means and what aspects of you, all of these things are, that’s all there for you to be experiencing—for you to discover.
But you’re not going to discover it until you say, “Father, what does this mean? Father, what do I need to do now?” To do the two-step, to practice the holy instant. To let every moment of your day be a moment in which you are actively feeling curious—actively feeling a curiosity to know what of God is confronting you, what the holiness of what you’re seeing actually is.
Well, that’s true prayer, right there. And to invite the experience and be undefended against it significantly enough for it to register with you, will constitute what the words, “true empathy” mean.
True empathy is you in any given moment, abandoning your confidence that you know what something is, so willingly and so humbly, that there’s simply is nothing present in you to resist or to block the influx of the conscious awareness of truth and the conscious experience of Love and all of the divine qualities of Being that will rush in and fill you and transform you and lift you out of hell.
Again: If it’s valuable, let it change you. Yes, I’m getting a little pushy. I am pushing for an experience. I’m pushing you out of your head. I’m pushing you out of your intellect. I’m pushing you out of your privacy and your valuing of it. And I’m saying, “let’s get on with this, this week, tonight, tomorrow!”
Play “Mother, may I?” and if it’s insulting, do it anyway. Don’t listen to your ego complain. It will complain, you don’t have to honor it. Let’s get on with Waking Up. Let’s get on with Redemption. Let’s get on with Atonement.
And let’s make room for true enjoyment of Being, of Life. Don’t be so passive. Don’t be so laid back in your “wonderful awareness of spiritual things.” If they’re valuable, let them change you. And I would like for you to write that down and put it on your refrigerator this week. To remind you that none of this is to keep the status quo. If it’s valuable, let it change you.
Go through your day with an attitude of expectation of change and a willingness to embrace it. That’s one way to stop resisting it. And I promise you the only reason you’re not experiencing the ultimate is because you’re resisting it.
I love you. I love you all. And because all of this is meaningful, is significant, I desire for you to let it change you. And I support the changes that will occur.