Apr 16, 2011
T17.1 Fantasy and Distorted Perception
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
I’ve been saying some things for quite awhile, and especially in the last few weeks, that are causing some distress for long-time students of the Course, because I’ve really been homing in on the fact that there’s only one thing confronting you—there’s only one thing ever in your face—and that is the Kingdom of Heaven … that is Reality.
There simply is nothing else existent for you to experience.
And so, I’m unequivocal on this point: You are either seeing Reality clearly or you are seeing Reality through a glass darkly. You are either seeing Creation truly, or you are seeing Creation—God’s Creation, the only Creation there is—through misperceptions.
You are never seeing an alternative to Reality or Creation.
There simply is no place for unreality to arise from because there is no presence other than God and therefore no place—no omnipresence—out of which unreality could arise.
If you use the Course to justify the idea that everything that you see and call Creation is an illusion, is to behave in a way that flies right in the face of God—right in the face of truth—it contradicts Being.
I talk about looking at everything with curiosity to see the more of what God is Being there, than what you are seeing. And I do this on purpose because if you don’t look right where you are—which is the only place you’re able to give your attention to at the moment—if you don’t give your attention to what’s in your face with curiosity, you will effectively imprison yourself in your present perception. You will deny yourself the experience of God. You will block from your experience—from your consciousness—Reality Itself. And that is not your Birthright and I will forever continue to say,
“Look at anything and everything that you can with the curiosity to see the more of what God is Being right there than you’re presently seeing.”
This is essential, unless you want to ride out the dream … you know, sort of go along with the dream. But if that’s what you want, why would you read the Course?
This chapter is called, “Forgiveness and Healing.” Well, why use the word, healing? Are we going to get so highfalutin and umm … unrealistic in our spirituality that healing is going to begin to mean something different from what everyone knows healing is, what everyone feels the need for? Is healing going to be a clarification in your mind that has nothing to do with your world or your body?
No! Stay grounded! The purpose of this Course is not to change the meaning of words so significantly that they bear little relevance to your daily life. They are supposed to make a difference in your daily life. How? … by giving you airy-fairy ideas to dream in or dream about without ever correcting a problem? If so, then let’s go through the Course and remove the word “correction” wherever it occurs.
Correction is called for. Healing is expected. And healing is not going to be the insane experience of “peace and well-being” when there is injury or illness present. That is not spirituality. That is insanity!
Let’s be clear. If you don’t know the difference between sanity and insanity you are lost! And someone has to tell you the difference. I’m telling you the difference.
Now, there are two statements—not in the Course, but absolutely true—which I want to share with you. The first is this: All is Mind (with a capital ‘M’). All is Mind … from the rolling of worlds in the most subtle ether, to a potato patch.1 And the other is this: Mind—again with a capital ‘M’ (and not just because it’s at the beginning of a sentence) but meaning God—Mind maintains all identities from a blade of grass to a star as distinct and eternal.2
This is the truth. And it calls for an appreciation of everything you see in your world that you probably haven’t brought to it before. And it is only in bringing that kind of appreciation to everything in your world which allows you to have your attention right where Reality is present for you to re-discover it.
Your willingness to look at the “unlovely thing” is forgiveness. And when you’re willing to look at an unlovely thing for a purpose … to see the more of what God is being there, than the absence of God that you’re seeing there, healing is the result. It’s that simple. It’s that practical.
And not anyone should be laboring under any other belief that would cause them to just sit and tolerate the intolerable in the name of A Course In Miracles or the wonderful teaching it presents.
This section is called:
Fantasy and Distorted Perception 3
When you maintain that there must be order of difficulty in miracles, all you mean is that there are some things you would withhold from truth. You believe that truth cannot deal with them only because you would KEEP them from truth.
Well, I know … you want me to tell you something practical here? Okay. For the last few weeks we’ve talked about the situation in Japan. We’ve talked about radioactive energy—radioactive matter. And we’ve talked about the ability, the capacity you have to see that ultimately negative aspect of energy transformed into a totally benign presence of energy.
But it’s very difficult. You all, as a general thing, believe that radioactive isotopes are dangerous to your well-being, are dangerous to your life.
Now, when you maintain that there must be order of difficulty in miracles, when you say, “That’s impossible because radioactive isotopes are truly damaging, they can kill me if I’m exposed to too much!” And of course if you say that about yourself, what are you thinking about the individuals who are fifty miles away from the energy plant—the atomic energy plant? You’re condemning yourself and you’re condemning them.
You’re certainly not practicing the holy instant, where you shut-up, you become still and in the silence you say, “Father, what is the truth here?” You see? A decision is made not to withhold that from the truth.
When you maintain that there must be order of difficulty in miracles, all you mean is that there are some things you would withhold from truth.
You see? “Well, I can’t bring myself to present this to the truth because it’s not correctable. It truly is dangerous. And it will be dangerous, some of it for so long that nobody in this lifetime will be able to enjoy being on that land and blah…blah…blah!” Right? You’re committed to withhold it from truth because you are so damned confident about what substance is that you can’t bring yourself to believe that… oh, there might be a possible miracle!
But that’s not what the Course is about. Let’s be clear about that.
You believe the truth cannot deal with them …
… radioactive isotopes in conjunction with your flesh, your body …
… only because you would KEEP them from truth. Very simply, your lack of faith in the power that heals all pain …
… what do those words mean … “heals all pain?” Oh, is it psychological pain? Is it an inner grievance that has nothing to do with flesh that is torn, or a boil that’s about to pop? It has nothing to do with physical pain?
You better believe it does have to do with it. Else, throw the book away and be a mortal … and stop complaining about it! And stop pretending to have a vision larger than the human condition—the human dream.
Very simply, your lack of faith in the power that heals all pain arises from your wish to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy.
In other words, you’re gonna keep this little part of the Kingdom of Heaven, called “radioactive isotopes” and you’re going to invest them in fantasy. You’re going to say, “This part of the Kingdom of Heaven”—which in actuality can’t be polarized at all, or dangerous—“this little bit of the Kingdom of Heaven I’m going to reserve for fantasy, and the fantasy I’m going to apply to it is that it is radioactive, it is polarized energy that is highly dangerous to the human condition. This is the definition I’m going to hold it to.” You see?
You’re going …
… to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy.
Now, here’s the interesting thing. This section is called,
Fantasy and Distorted Perception
… as though they’re two different things. And they are. Fantasy is something you can entertain all by yourself. You can fantasize to your heart’s delight. But you cannot have a distorted perception all by yourself. A distorted perception comes from your bringing your fantasy to another Brother or Sister who is willing to share that fantasy with you. You see?
And the moment the two of you make commitment to that fantasy and deny the Father as your Source, and deny all of Creation as His, and you usurp it for your purposes, you become bound to a mutual insanity that is constituted of distorted perception in which the benign substance of Spirit that is the Substance of all Creation which is Love embodied, that that is something else entirely, completely opposed to what it truly Is.
Wow! Whether you believe it or not this is what has happened and this is what binds you to a human existence that exhibits none of the characteristics of what a holy Son or Daughter of God would be experiencing. But of course, you’ve forgotten who you Are, as we’ve discussed. And you’re committed to the fantasy that you have bound Creation to, or bound a small portion of Creation to.
Now you know, it really doesn’t make a lot of difference whether you talk about radioactive isotopes or cancer cells, they both seem to have the same capacity to kill you. They both seem to have the same intent to kill you.
Is one worse than the other? Well, not really.
Now, it’s time to begin to have a different experience of Substance. It’s time to have a different experience of the Substance of everything in this Universe. It’s time for you to dare to bring your fantasy to truth instead of bringing truth to fantasy. And that’s what this is all about.
Very simply, your lack of faith in the power that heals all pain arises from your wish to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy. If you but realized what this must do to your appreciation of the whole!
Well, it annihilates it. It makes it impossible for you to have an appreciation of the whole, because you have radioactive isotopes and you have cancer cells and any number of other killing things that cause you to lose your peace.
And you know what? If you’ve lost your peace, then you’re in fear. And when you’re in fear, it becomes almost impossible to be willing to look at the thing that is causing your fear and choose to bring it to truth. It becomes impossible for you to dare to embrace it in any way, even though you are embracing it to get past the apparently polarized aspects that it is presenting as a primarily negative aspect that is threatening you.
Why do you think you must love your enemies? Because your enemies are the Sons and Daughters of God, or aspects of Creation which you are misperceiving and which your misperceptions are causing you to be defensive against.
You’re never going to be able to discover the more of what God is Being in your enemy if you are unwilling to bring your attention to your enemy with the intent not to be sidetracked by his or her presentation, so that you might move right through it with your intent to see the Presence of God, so that God presents Himself to you as your conscious experience and causes you to spontaneously feel and express the joy of the recognition of the Son of God, your Brother, who is so worthy of your love and who in the midst of your recognition of his divinity, reveals to you that you are as divine and uncovers You to you so that you become joined in that awe.
What you reserve unto yourself, you TAKE AWAY from Him Who would release you.
Well, Who’s the Him that would release you? It’s the Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than your right Mind.
What you reserve unto yourself, …
… you see? … “Oh, this little part of the Kingdom Heaven, I’m going to call it radioactive isotopes. And I’m going to say that it has polarized qualities that are dangerous to anything it comes near …”
You reserve that to yourself. And you take it …
… AWAY from Him …
… the Holy Spirit …
… Who would release you.
You take it away from your right Mind which would release you from your, shall I say, wrong-mindedness—your ignorance.
Unless you give it back, it is inevitable that your perspective on reality be warped and …
… what? Here’s that word “correction” …
Unless you give it back, it is inevitable that your perspective on reality be warped and uncorrected.
So why does it say that? It says it because correction is called for. That’s good news. But you’re not going to see the correction as an experience as long as you say, “Well, that’s a material world and it’s illusion and it’s going to disappear.” That’s a curse.
There’s no forgiveness in that. And without forgiveness, without a willingness to say, “Wait a minute, if there’s something going on there and there’s really no other power than God, then there’s nothing else to be presenting something there for me to perceive or misperceive, except God. And therefore what’s there has to be essentially Real and benign … undivided, unpolarized, incapable of sin, sickness, death … incapable of decay. Therefore it would behoove me, and I’m willing to look at it with real curiosity to see the divinity that is there. And I’m going to persist in that until I have the experience.”
Now if that’s not what A Course In Miracles is about, put down the book! Stop reading it! And if you didn’t think that was what the Course was about, look at it again with fresh eyes.
As long as you would have it so, so long will the illusion of order of difficulty in miracles remain with you. For you have ESTABLISHED this order in reality by giving some of it to one teacher, and some to another. And so you learn to deal with part of truth in one way, and in another way the other part.
You see? So you use truth as something that you take illusion to for healing, but another part of truth you use to take to illusion to have illusion determine what truth is. You see?
You’re still dealing with truth and you’re still dealing with substance. You’re still dealing with Reality—the only thing there is, truth and substance that is Spirit. But you can misuse truth and you can call Spirit matter—having none of the characteristics of Reality or its Source, God.
To fragment truth is to destroy it by rendering it meaningless.
You see? You can’t use truth as that which you take illusion to for correction and then use truth as that which you bring to illusion to have illusion determine what truth is.
To fragment truth …
… that way …
… is to destroy it by rendering it meaningless. Orders of reality is a perspective without understanding, a frame of reference for reality to which it cannot really BE compared at all.
Are you beginning to see here?
The singularity of Being … the singularity of existence … the unpolarized nature of Being, of existence. This is the truth that you need to be bringing every aspect of your mentality to, so that your mentality might be measured against truth and inevitably enlarged, inevitably made infinite, to inevitably be corrected so that your sanity returns.
Think you that you can bring truth to fantasy, and learn what truth means from the perspective of illusions?
No. And that’s why when something apparently disastrous or very threatening to your current ignorant mindset occurs, you tend to take your current mindset as the established order, as the ultimate understanding of Reality. And so, although there is an event happening, it becomes modified by your current determined mindset. And you become frightened to death.
And that’s not what the Course teaches. And that’s not the appropriate response. Because you are the holy Sons and Daughters of God and nothing less, you never have been. And what you’re frightened of is a misperception of the Kingdom of Heaven that couldn’t harm you in any way. And yes, that means that at the moment you are experiencing insanity. But you know what? Insanity is corrected by intelligence recognized … insanity is corrected by intelligence recognized.
And so, I’m expressing intelligence. I’m presenting intelligence so that you might recognize it and therefore abandon your commitment to your ignorance and dare to, shall I say, climb out of the crab barrel.
Well you know what? One of the things that you tend to keep from truth is the idea that there’s an outside to the crab barrel … you know … you tell somebody, “Hey, I’m working on climbing out of the crab barrel.”
And the other person says, “Huh, you fool! There’s no outside to the crab barrel. There’s not even a crab barrel. It’s just life. And you are just going to have to tolerate it. And you’re just going to suffer through it until your last day. You see? Don’t be foolish.” You see?
So, Reality has been brought to fantasy and fantasy has been allowed to determine what Reality is and as a result you deny yourself the possibility of experiencing a miracle because you won’t think outside the box—you won’t let your mind move outside the box.
Think you that you can bring truth to fantasy, and learn what truth means …
… really means …
… from the perspective of illusions? Truth HAS no meaning in illusion. The frame of reference for its meaning must be ITSELF.
In other words, the frame of reference for truth’s meaning must be truth itself. Oh, but that’s outside the crab barrel, isn’t it! Truth isn’t in the crab barrel. It’s not in the illusion. It’s not in the orphanage. It’s outside.
Well, fortunately you know truth is. You know there is truth, whether you Know what truth is or not. You have deeply imbedded in you an undeniable awareness that there is such a thing as truth … thank God!
When you try to bring truth to illusions, you are trying to make illusions REAL, and keep them by JUSTIFYING your belief in them.
You see? You want to bring truth to verify the illusion so that you might keep the illusion. You want to bring truth to your endeavor to be an independent agent—having no Source—thus being totally independent and proud of it.
But to give illusions to truth …
… to reverse it …
… is to enable truth to teach that the ILLUSIONS are unreal, and thus enable you to escape from them …
… uh, actually get outside the crab barrel.
Listen to this:
Reserve not one idea aside from truth, …
… don’t keep any private idea. “Well, I hear that radioactive isotopes can be benign. And I could believe that maybe if there were too many around me, I might just be able to come out of it unscathed. But damn it, don’t test me on it!”
Reserve not one idea aside from truth, …
… apart from truth …
… or you establish orders of reality which must imprison you. There IS no order in reality because EVERYTHING there is true.
“Well, everything there is true. Where? Where is there?” It’s here! If it isn’t here, the book means nothing. If it isn’t here, the words mean nothing, unless in the sweet by-and-by after you die. Well, if that’s when it’s going to be true, put the book away and enjoy your mortality. Engage in all the sin that you want … you know? Live this life to the fullest, on the raw side … you know? Nothing you can do about it except maybe enjoy it to the hilt because of course, there’s no answer until after you die.
There IS no order in reality because EVERYTHING there is true.
And there is here. And so, your task, your pleasure will be to be willing to look at everything with fresh eyes. I’ve said, with innocent eyes, with a capacity to see beyond what you’re conditioned to see—a capacity that’s already there. Because no matter how much you’ve covered it over, you are the Son and the Daughter of God.
Be willing, then, to give all you have held outside the truth to Him Who KNOWS the truth, …
… the Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than your right Mind— …
… and in Whom all is brought to truth. Be not concerned with anything except your WILLINGNESS to have this be accomplished.
There it is:
Be not concerned with anything …
… not the fearsomeness of radio isotopes or cancer or anything else.
Be not concerned with anything except your WILLINGNESS to have this be accomplished.
Here’s the insulting part though:
HE will accomplish it; NOT you.
And that’s the beauty of it. And that’s the love of it. And that’s the infinite invulnerability of you, in it.
You know, I mentioned that sometime in the past, I said, there are two things: Wish to see the evidence of Love, no matter what’s presenting itself. And wish to be the presence of Love. Wish to see the evidence of Love and wish to be the evidence of Love. And it’s important. Which one comes first? There is an order to it.
Does the wish to be the evidence of Love come first or the wish to see the evidence of Love? I will tell you: It’s the wish to see the evidence of Love. The first part of it, the first step of it is, selflessness, gifting your Brother instead of yourself.
When you wish to see the evidence of Love in your Brother or in anything you are looking at, you are opening yourself up to the influx of divine clarity. And when that divine clarity dawns on you, infills you, it inspires you and you end up involuntarily being the evidence of Love. And I mean by that, that your behavior isn’t designed by you to have any particular effect because your behavior is beyond your will. Joy that exudes from you spontaneously is the evidence of Love that blesses everyone it falls upon, especially the one whom you decided not to be the evidence of Love to first—the one who seemed to be calling for Love.
“Oh, yeah, I’m going to be the evidence to Love for my Brother here. He really needs it and I really have it to give it to him. You know, I’ve been studying for years, I know the Course inside and out. And I’m going to be the evidence of Love …”
Well, bullshit! You’ve missed the point! You can’t be the evidence of Love that way. You can’t start from yourself and your past. You have to start from the innocence of the moment you are in, in which you’re undefended against the Father’s Perspective, the Father’s Will, which is truly yours. But when the Father’s Will dawns upon you, you behave in totally unexpected ways because you’re not in charge of your behavior any longer.
And it’s a wonderful event that you are joyed in and everyone else is joyed in. And that’s the way it works.
Be willing, then, to give all you have held outside the truth to Him Who KNOWS the truth, and in Whom all is brought to truth. Be not concerned with anything except your WILLINGNESS to have this be accomplished. HE will accomplish it; NOT you. But forget not this: When you become disturbed and lose your peace of mind because ANOTHER is attempting to solve his problems through fantasy, you are refusing to forgive YOURSELF for just this same attempt.
Well, what does that mean? It means that when you find yourself disturbed and losing your peace because another is attempting to solve his problems through fantasy, you have decided not to take this presentation and hand it over to truth for truth to correct. You would rather have held it yourself for your purpose. Your purpose being, that you are going to have a little fit of anger and get the most out of it that you can, because that’s more important to you. That’s a self-assertion, isn’t it? That lets you know that you’re real, that you really exist.
Expressions of anger always do that. And that’s the only thing they ever do. They help put you back in charge in your own mind, because they make you the most important thing in your mind. And that makes you feel strengthened and more present, even though you’ve stepped out of Reality entirely and are spinning around in this little space of craziness, unconnected with anything Real and incapable of being the evidence of Love. Why? Because you said, “No, I do not wish to see the evidence of Love.” There it is!
When you become disturbed and lose your peace of mind because ANOTHER is attempting to solve his problems through fantasy, you are refusing to forgive YOURSELF for just this same attempt. And you are holding BOTH of you away from truth and from salvation.
You see? You keep it all spinning around in this little bit of craziness.
… you are holding BOTH of you away from truth and from salvation. But …
… the word “but” isn’t in here …
But as you forgive him, you restore to truth what was denied by BOTH of you. And you will see forgiveness where you have GIVEN it.
Now, you tell me, what’s the difference between looking at your Brother and forgiving your Brother and having truth restored to both of you? What’s the difference between that and looking at a location in Japan, which is overloaded with radioactivity and radioisotopes that are dangerous, and forgiving that and seeing correction occur, seeing truth restored? What is the difference? What is the difference between looking at what you call matter and bringing it to truth, so that truth might reveal to you that it is actually Substance, even though you’re calling it matter and that Substance in its Reality, in its only-ness is Spirit—the Substance of God.
What’s the difference? And in what way is what I’m talking about denying what the Course is saying, by saying, look at matter with the curiosity to see it begin to behave like Spirit. There is no difference. And as long as anyone maintains that there is a difference the correcting principle of the Course will not function for you, because you are denying the fundamental principle that is saying one thing: God is All … is All … is All … is All … is All there is in the radioactive isotope … is All there is in the splinter of wood that’s caught in your finger … is All that there is to my finger.
Mind maintains all Ideas—from a blade of grass to a star—as distinct and eternal. The moment you glimpse the fact that the Course is teaching exactly that, we will all see transformations occurring that everyone deserves to be experiencing and the Course will have fulfilled its purpose.
You don’t live in a frightening world, you live (some of you at the moment) in a frightening way of looking at the world—an isolated independent way, isolated from the Father, but joined with Brothers and Sisters in the same mutual agreement … a misperception.
And I’m glad to share this news over and over and over until the goodness of the news begins to register with you and you begin to embrace the Course in an entirely new way and therefore, your world as well.
I love you all, and I look forward to being with you next week.