Oct 2, 2010
T16.5 Specialness and Guilt

Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.

Now, what’s the fastest way to lose your joy … actually, what’s the only way to lose your joy?

It’s simple. Enter into a special relationship.

Now, we’ve been talking for quite a long time about special relationships. But to express a definition of it: Simply, it is a relationship in which the participants are unconscious of who they Are, participants who have forgotten that they are the Sons and Daughters of God, who have forgotten that their very Being and everything about them is divine. And they think they are who they’ve been taught they are: The body they appear to be, the organism in a scheme of things on a planet, the offspring of chance—those who endure chance as a state of being called life in which nothing is sure and everything is, at the bottom line, potentially threatening.

I’m going to go into the Book.

To everyone Heaven is completion. There can be no disagreement on this, because both the ego and the Holy Spirit accept it.

… both the ego and the Holy Spirit accept it.

The Holy Spirit is your divinity—your real Self held in trust while you dally with the ego. So, when it says here …

… both the ego and the Holy Spirit accept it …

… in other words, that heaven is completion, it means both who you think you are and what you truly Are, accept it. The ego who you claim to be—you so proudly claim to be—and the Holy Spirit that you deny you are but who you really Are, both agree that Heaven is completion. So when you read these words, the ego and the Holy Spirit, don’t think they’re two separate things somehow unrelated to each other. They are two different identifiers of you. They identify you experiencing things from two different perspectives. That’s all. That’s the simplicity of it. Don’t lose it.

They are, however…

… the ego and the Holy Spirit …

… in COMPLETE disagreement on what completion IS, and HOW it is accomplished. The Holy Spirit knows …

… that which is nothing more than your right Mind …

The Holy Spirit knows that completion lies first in union, and then in the extension of union.

And that’s what we’ve been discussing relative to the two-step, where, before acting on your own, you hesitate—you catch your breath and hold it for a moment—you stop in your tracks. And instead of assuming that you know what a thing is or what is really happening, you say, “Father, what is the truth here?” or you say, “Holy Spirit, what is the truth here?”

That amounts to you, the ego you think you are, stopping dead in its tracks and that which is real of you within the context of the ego, reaching outside of its confines—outside of its limits—to your Father and saying, “What is the truth here?” or to your divine Being and saying, “What is the truth here?” and inviting, for lack of better words, the larger picture into the smaller picture that you’ve been entertaining and employing, and thereby allowing it to expand.

The Holy Spirit knows that completion lies first in union, and then in the extension of union.

The first part of the two-step is the invitation of union. Wanting to know what is the truth here? What is the truth about my fellowman or this situation or that thing? And then listening and letting yourself be infilled. And then, upon the infilling, upon the inspiration, finding yourself automatically embracing that thing or that one or that circumstance with the new perspective—extending the union. You see?

On the other hand …

To the ego, completion lies in triumph, and in the extension of the “victory” even to the final triumph over God.

Rather dramatic words there …

To the ego, completion lies in triumph…

… okay. We can get quite grandiose and complicated. But once again, all of this is really very simple.

… completion lies in triumph…

… to the ego. What is the triumph? Is it triumph over your fellowman? Is it triumph over the situation? Is it triumph over adverse circumstances?

No. The triumph here is the false sense of independence that arises after one says, “Father, I want to see things my own way. Father, I want to define things my own way. Father, I want a divorce from You, from Your Perspective.”

That act is all the triumph that can possibly be mustered up by any intent whatsoever, embraced by anything whatsoever in all of God’s Creation. And it can’t actually be accomplished. But one of the Sons of God said, “I’d rather do it my way. I would like to experiment with being the authorizer with expressing the authority that makes things happen. After all, I am the Son of God, I have the capacity.” And we’ve talked about this before—this is nothing new.

So …

To the ego, completion lies in triumph…

… in other words, in arriving at a point where that Son of God or Daughter of God who wants a divorce is able to convince himself or herself that such a divorce has occurred and that this Son or Daughter of God is now on his or her own. That’s the triumph. And as we’ve said, immediately fear and guilt come into play, which is really the sanity of one’s Being—one’s divine Being—saying, “You are attempting to do the impossible … you are attempting to do the impossible … you are attempting to do the impossible … come back Home right now … come back Home right now … don’t waste your time attempting to do the impossible … don’t waste your time attempting to do the impossible!” And this monotonous message irritates and causes unease. And it’s called guilt and it’s called fear.

But what happens? That guilt and fear become the engine that drives this Son or Daughter of God, who’s attempting to be on his or her own, to try even harder to establish the independence so that even the fear and the guilt disappear and peace is experienced and actual autonomy is achieved.

To the ego, completion lies in triumph, and in the extension of the “victory” even to the final triumph over God.

In other words, even to the point where the divorce is complete and peace has been established and that independent Son or Daughter of God is perfect—perfectly independent, happily independent—the fear and guilt misconstrued, misused, served to drive the insanity even deeper so that one tries even harder to get away from Home instead of accepting the message of guilt and fear that says, “Stop doing what you can’t do, you’re not going to be able to be comfortable while you’re trying to do what you can’t do. Come on Home, come back into your peace that’s already yours. Be who you really Are so you can be real with each other.”

So again …

To the ego, completion lies in triumph, and in the extension of the “victory” even to the final triumph over God. In this it sees the ultimate freedom of the self, for nothing would remain to interfere with IT.

Stop and think about it. Dare to look at yourself. Dare to look at how much of your time is spent trying to achieve the freedom of the Self—your total freedom. Then, consider when you hear me say to do the two-step and be willing to abandon your autonomy and independence and rejoin with your Father so that you might remember who you Are, so that you might come back into your right Mind and your divinity won’t be held in trust any longer and identified as the Holy Spirit. Notice whether or not you willingly and enthusiastically embrace that. You don’t. Because it seems to be hollow, it seems to be empty of the vitality of existence that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing … ultimate freedom of the self.

In this it sees the ultimate freedom of the self, for nothing would remain to interfere with IT. This IS its idea of Heaven.

This is the ego’s idea of Heaven. To be absolutely, successfully independent, perfectly at peace, free of guilt and fear. That is its idea of Heaven.

As we’ve said before, when the Son or Daughter of God said, “I’d rather see it my way, I want a divorce,” he became fatherless and motherless. He became an orphan, in so many words, and experienced himself as such.

So, the Kingdom of Heaven in which, as I said before, my Father has many mansions … the mansions in the Kingdom of Heaven begin to look like dormitories in an orphanage. And I’m using that example on purpose because I want everyone to understand that the Kingdom of Heaven is not somewhere else other than where you are right now. The orphanage is in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Years ago, I used to share that all of you are right smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom, you’re on a grassy knoll in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven with your eyes all squinched up saying, “I cannot see the perfection!”

Okay. My point is, that those who have come to believe that they have total independent existence separate and apart from anything divine, and that they are just the manifestation of physical processes, they are experiencing this and believing this in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven. And they are experiencing it as the Son or Daughter of God who’s unconscious of who he or she Is.

So, those in the orphanage might say they’re going to create a heavenly experience—one of harmony and peace and guiltlessness—through the assertion of their independence more and more effectively. And yet, it’s just going to be another interpretation of the orphanage. It’s not going to be a direct experience of Heaven.

So the ego creates its idea of Heaven. It’s already experiencing misery because having separated itself from God, it’s experiencing guilt and fear constantly and constantly driven to overcome the guilt and fear as its life-work.

So …

… the final triumph over God …

… is what the ego sees as …

… the ultimate freedom of the self, for nothing would remain to interfere with IT. This IS its idea of Heaven.

… right there in the orphanage.

From this it follows that union…

… you know, actual reconciliation with one’s Father in which one’s conscious awareness of his Birthright returns to him.

… it follows that union, which is a condition in which the ego CANNOT interfere, MUST be hell.

You see? It gets turned around 180 degrees out of sync. And that’s why there isn’t a mad rush to do the two-step, to abandon one’s independence and to yield into the Father’s Will, with a desire to experience It, and an innocence that lets it in. And that’s because the conditioning of your current frame of reference sees Heaven in its actuality to not be that desirable and ultimately hell.

You’ve all heard: “Who wants to sit on a cloud strumming on a harp for eternity?” Well, no one does … but you see the characterization that’s applied to the idea of Heaven?

Nevertheless, it is essential to come to the realization that a special relationship is not only impractical, it is debilitating, it is destructive to your capacity to come back into your right Mind to experience what Love truly means. So that not only do you wish to see the evidence of Love, you wish to be the evidence of Love and you do nothing to block that manifestation in you.

The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device . .

… it was created right there in the orphanage, nowhere else, it’s …

… a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven…

… it’s taking Heaven, which everything actually is, and combining it with the hellish experience that is caused by the divorce gotten from one’s Father and the guilt and fear that always accompany a false state of independence, and sort of melding them together and calling it life—life that’s a little bit stressful, life that is never at peace, life that will ultimately result in death and on and on and on. You see?

The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven, and making them indistinguishable.

You see, that’s the problem! That’s the reason there is no strong urge to come back Home, no strong urge to explore the meaning of Heaven in its actuality.

Heaven and hell have been made indistinguishable. As a result, there isn’t any spontaneous way to make distinctions between Heaven and the misperception of It. That’s why I’m talking to you. That’s why there is A Course In Miracles.

The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven, and making them indistinguishable. And the attempt to find the imagined “best” of both worlds has merely led to fantasies of both, and to the inability to perceive either one as it is.

You see? Heaven is the conscious experience of everything that is experienced when you are not claiming a mind independent from the Father’s. It’s that simple.

Hell is what is experienced when you do make that claim and believe it … doesn’t change the fact that it’s all Heaven … but it’s absolutely essential to be able to begin to make the distinction.

How do you do that? You can’t do it all by yourself. The only way you can do it, is to do the two-step, is to stop your confident authoritative thought processes and say to yourself, “On the chance that maybe there’s more to things than what I’m seeing and what I’m believing I’m going to reach outside of my rational thought processes and I’m going to ask Something beyond them in case there is Something beyond them, ‘What is the truth here?’ I guess you could say I’m going to say a prayer, because I’m going to reach outside of my current sense of my capacity and capabilities. And then I’m going to genuinely listen. I am really going to let there be the time and the conditions for an answer to register with me.”

You can dare to do this because I am suggesting to you to do it. I am providing a way to make a distinction, because I know of the distinction and I experience the distinction. And as your elder Brother, I’m here to share it with you so that you might practice that which uncovers the distinction, so that you may make a choice and no longer experience Heaven as hell or as a state of existence in which Heaven and hell are so blended in a somewhat tolerable way that you’re willing to live your life without reaching beyond it, or challenging it, or calling its bluff.

The special relationship is the triumph of this confusion.

You see? The special relationship is actually all of the relationships going on in the orphanage, which is another way of saying, it’s all of the relationships going on in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, where a group of the Sons and Daughters of God are believing a very highly stylized and partial definition of the Kingdom of Heaven and believing that their stylized definition is the totality of It … when it’s not.

The special relationship is the triumph of this confusion. It is a kind of union from which union is EXCLUDED, and the basis for the ATTEMPT at union rests on exclusion.

Now this could be a little confusing here.

It is a kind of union …

… the special relationship is …

… from which union is EXCLUDED…

You see? If I’m not bringing to you myself, if I’m bringing to you a characterization of me that I have built out of a misunderstanding of my Being, and you are coming to me with a definition and meanings of yourself that you have developed as a result of not being conscious of who you really Are, neither of us is bringing to each other anything actual or Real. What’s Real about us we’ve covered up from ourselves and therefore cannot communicate to each other. And so there can’t actually be a joining of masks, if I may put it that way, there can’t really be a joining of pretenses. You see what I’m saying?

So …

It is a kind of union from which union is EXCLUDED…

We try to come together bringing our falsehoods and presenting them, and union is excluded from that attempt. And it says…

… the basis for the ATTEMPT at union rests on exclusion.

What this means is, that it rests on the belief in a state of being an orphan. Which means it rests upon a determination each of you have made to be divorced from your Father, to have put yourself in a position of exclusivity—being exclusive—and having excluded the very Source and presence of your Being as what It is.

So on the basis of your lifestyle of exclusion from your Source, you attempt to create a relationship in which union can’t occur, because there’s nothing real being brought to it. Be with that.

What better example could there be of the ego’s maxim, “Seek but do not find?”

Most curious of all is the concept of the self which the ego fosters in the special relationship. This “self” seeks the relationship to make itself complete.

You see? Not having any sense of its divinity, of its Birthright, it is a state of lack, it is a state of emptiness. Okay. And so it seeks relationships to make itself complete … “I’m looking for my other half. I’m looking for my soul mate. I’m looking for that one who completes me.” It’s a common thought, not really strange to anyone. It’s all pervasive. But the hunger will disappear the moment one stops maintaining and reasserting his or her orphanhood and says, “Father, what’s the truth about me? Father, tell me about Us, tell me about who we are together?” You see?

But no…

Most curious of all is the concept of the self which the ego fosters in the special relationship. This “self” seeks the relationship to make itself complete. Yet when it FINDS the special relationship in which it thinks it can accomplish this, it gives itself AWAY, and tries to “trade” itself for the self of another.

What does this mean? It means that when one finds another who sees him or her in a better light … let’s put it this way: If I meet someone who has a better sense of me than I have of myself, I will glom on to that, I will try to capitalize on that because it makes me better than I think I am. And so I will borrow or take that one’s way of seeing me as me, and I will embody it. You see? And I will give up the one I thought I was, the one I developed so carefully because there’s great potential in this for me—there’s a great deal I can get. And I’m thinking here in terms of life partners and so on, or even employers.

But you see, the sense of self that you bring that’s not as good as the sense of self that this other one is entertaining of you, does not reflect the divine one that you Are. And unless this other one with a better concept of you is looking at you through God’s eyes, his or her concept is not any better than yours because it is still based upon the orphanhood mentality.

This is not union, for there is no increase and no extension.

It’s just a way that egos capitalize on each others’ perceptions for gain. And each takes from the other, let’s say, the appreciation and the honoring and everything that builds you up and capitalizes on it and builds a relationship on it and there’s no honesty in it because so far no one has said, “Uh-oh,” stop in my tracks, “What is the truth here? Father, what’s the truth about me? Father, what’s the truth about my fellowman? What is the divine actuality of this one? What is the divine actuality of me?” Until that question is asked genuinely, and until the answer is un-resistently let in, no one is bringing anything Real to the relationship.

This is not union, [again] for there is no increase and no extension. Each partner tries to sacrifice the self he does not want for one he thinks he would prefer.

It’s like being a chameleon, and you put on a different face with a different person, depending upon what you can capitalize on to get yourself ahead in that involvement, in that relationship. You see?

Each partner tries to sacrifice the self he does not want for one he thinks he would prefer. And he feels guilty for the “sin” of taking, and of giving nothing of value in return. For how much value CAN he place upon a self that he would give away to get a better one?

Now, let’s bring this home. You’ve sat down before and talked with someone else, perhaps someone you don’t really know very well yet, and in the course of the conversation you presented yourself … you see, you did a presentation of you. And you bounced off of this other one and you utilized the things that could be utilized to your benefit and you utilized the things that you knew he or she would experience as being of benefit to him or her.

And you did this dance. It’s almost like a dance of preprogrammed moves, not one of which was genuine. And if you weren’t careful and things got a little enthusiastic, you might find yourself going over the edge, so to speak, and actually making a fool out of yourself, when you thought you were being really cool. And what happened was that you went over the edge and exposed the fact that everything, even what happened before you went over the edge, was not honest—was a presentation, not really you.

Now, unless you’re joined with the Father or the Holy Spirit, every single interaction you have with everyone else is that kind of in-genuine, un-Awakened relationship that constitutes a special relationship. Don’t let that discourage you. That’s not bad news. It’s the practical thing to know so that you become aware that there’s another choice you can make. And the benefit of it is to promote your making the choice.

Now, there’s quite a bit more for us to go through here. And I’m not going to continue on tonight. We’ll continue next week.

I am hoping that it’s becoming clear that there is a way for you to be Real, and there is a You that is Real, and it’s your Birthright to be experiencing it. And the best way for you to experience it is to wish, or to desire in your moment of hesitation, instead of plowing ahead with your confidences, to ask, to desire to know how to be in this situation or in this relationship from a level of Knowing, an internal, solid, deep experience of Knowing the divine truth about your Brother or about the situation, and about yourself.

But I will tell you something: If you desire to know the truth about your Brother with utter sincerity, the answer about Him will reveal the truth about You as well, in a way that you will not be able to deny, in a way that you will be able to incorporate and embody.

You’re not here to participate in special relationships. You’re not here, in other words, to relate to your Brothers and Sisters without you or your Brothers and Sisters knowing who you really Are. And the hell that that constitutes is not your Birthright to be experiencing, because it’s all going on in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven. And it’s all going on between Sons and Daughters of God that you’re going to have to get up enough gumption to push for the experience of … by giving your attention to it relentlessly. Let it be worthwhile to you to relentlessly desire to have the experience of the Son of God or the Daughter of God in the women or the man standing across from you. And I tell you that if you let that happen, you’ll find yourself uncovered as well in your divinity. And that’s what this is all about.

A Course In Miracles is not worth anything if it doesn’t bring about this shift of perception.

Now I encourage you to go ahead and read to the end of this section between now and next week. Contemplate it. Contemplate it in light of what we’ve talked about tonight.

I love you. I will be with you. I will be encouraging you to contemplate these things. I will encourage you to be innocent enough to be defenseless enough to let the truth in—not ideas of truth, not strings of words that you can blab, but an actual experience that changes you and contributes to your Brother’s healing.

I look forward to being with you next week.

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