Dec 4, 2011
T18.1 Substitution as a Defense
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
Some time ago, we read that your attention is God’s treasure. These are not just nice words, it’s a profound statement of impactful fact, let’s put it that way. In other words, it is significant, not just as an idea but as an embodied fact about you.
Your attention is God’s treasure. And giving your attention to the Father is your salvation.
That is the simplicity of A Course In Miracles. That is the Lesson of the Course. And at the bottom line, that’s the Alpha and Omega of the learning of the Course.
We’ve been giving a lot of attention to the two-step, to the holy instant and the fact that Waking up through the utilization of the holy instant is not something you can do alone. You must do it relative to a Brother, a Sister, some part of Creation.
Now when you become still for the purpose of abandoning your thought processes, your reasoning, your means of coming to conclusions and basing actions upon them, when you choose to abandon that and become still and you ask for Guidance, you ask to know the truth, you ask to have it uncovered to you and you have it uncovered to you, in so many words, you hear the Father’s Voice. You have had an experience of what could be called, “the Living Waters,” the present original Movement of Creation as an experience having nothing whatsoever to do with memory, having nothing whatsoever to do with all of the things you taught yourself, all the things you made up, all the agreements you made with each other.
Let me put it this way: If in your daily activities you are engaging in everything from your memory, you are not engaging in everything from the place of the Living Waters—of the spontaneous original Movement of Creation now…now…now…now…now. And if you are not connected with the Living Waters, if you are not gathering your experience of Being from the present Movement of Creation, then you’re still asleep. Nothing meaningful is happening because you are disconnected from God’s Perspective. You are disconnected from what it is your Birthright to be experiencing as the expression of God now…now…now…now, the embodiment of His Perspective now…now…now…now.
Of course, if you’re going to rely upon memory because it’s convenient and you’ve done it for so long that you’re very familiar with it and it gives you a feeling of security, you are, as in the movie “Inception,” functioning from a level other than Reality. It’s not what you want to be doing. It’s not where actuality is happening. It’s not where transformation can occur and it’s not the means by which you can step out of the level of memory and old habits that you need to be able to do, because you were not created to be at some other level than Reality. You were not meant to be functioning at a level other than where the Living Waters, the vitality of the present tense Creation of God and His Perspective is your true perspective—that which is your Birthright as God’s Expression.
And so, you know, no matter how well you might think you’re able to function at some other level than the level of the Living Waters, you’re in a dream, you’re not in Reality. And no matter how harmonious it seems to be, no matter how productive it seems to be, you’re still asleep. It’s still a dream.
Now, someone needs to come along with a larger perspective or a perspective from a level other than the level of dreams. Someone from the level of the Living Waters must tell you that you’re dreaming and must get your attention significantly enough to cause you to genuinely look again and not just brush it aside as fanciful thinking. That’s not of any value to you. Because, you know, the things that you have developed on the level of dreams that you’re on, oh, those things have been developed so well and you have so much evidence of their value that there’s no justification for leaving it.
I will tell you that as long as there’s sin, sickness and death occurring, there’s justification for looking again, there’s justification for challenging the perspective you’re using to engage in Being everyday.
Now, after our get-together last week, many of you I’m sure, with sincerity began to implement what we talked about—the bringing of gratitude into play before there seems to be justification for gratitude. The wanting to know the God’s honest truth in the face of challenges that seem to say to you that “there is no God and there is no answer and sin, disease and death are what absolutely govern existence at the bottom line.” And many of you had the experience of transformation occurring because you had faith in truth before the justification was there.
Now I know there were others as well who simply felt that they could do well enough without being joined at the level of the Living Waters, that their capacities or their capabilities were quite adequate to cope with things and found that perhaps, unlike before, there was a lot more misery involved in that practice and that the more you persisted in it through the week, the more rugged it got and there was no peace. Following all the rules you created at that level of dreams brought no peace, at least not like it used to. And it seemed to aggravate your existence far beyond what the circumstances seem to call for. But of course, the circumstances “out there” weren’t what was governing. It was the fact that you were insisting upon choosing to function at a level where the Living Water of Reality was not available to you.
Now, if you have a choice between going to the Altar right in the middle of you—the holy place right in the middle of you—and desiring to know of the Father what the truth is, or desiring to know of the Holy Spirit what the truth is, if that act is what guarantees you release from sin, sickness and death, then why not do it? If the premise seems too fantastic, too unreasonable, why not try it anyway if indeed the promise is that you will get release from sin, sickness and death? Why not be practical enough to make a decision with your Guide or with the Holy Spirit or with the Father—an inner commitment that you make—to seriously practice what the holy instant really means. There’s no reason not to.
It’s such a simple step. It’s such a simple way out of illusion. Maybe nobody knew about it before. But I keep bringing it up. And in one way or another, the Course keeps saying it.
So you’re getting exposed to the idea. You’re no longer ignorant of the possibility. And if you’re willing to trust me, you’re no longer ignorant of the actuality because I’m telling you it is the way out. It is the way out into your freedom to experience the Kingdom of Heaven without going anywhere—without having to die to get there.
Now, going into the book:
Heaven is restored to all the Sonship through your relationship, for in it lies the Sonship, whole and beautiful, safe in your love.1
Heaven is restored to all the Sonship through your relationship…
… your relationship with your Brother or Sister. Your relationship with your Brother or Sister which you embraced and bore witness to the truth of by virtue of turning to the Father first before looking at your Brother or Sister, to want to know the truth about your Brother or Sister. And in having that revealed to you by the Father, discovering the holiness of your Brother or Sister and by virtue of the awareness in you, acknowledging it in them without reservation because you Know the truth about your Brother or Sister.
Now … you know, when you get up on the wrong side of the bed and you have a really negative attitude and you look ahead at your day or you look out the window, or you look at your wife or husband or the dog—nothing looks good! It’s all a chore … nothing good can come of it.
But on the other hand, if you wake up and you have a chipper attitude and you look out the window or you look at your husband or wife or your dog or your cat, why everything you’re looking at is a promise of joy, is a promise of pleasure, a promise of satisfaction … a promise of peace.
So when it says that …
Heaven is restored to all the Sonship through your relationship
… with the one you’re in a holy relationship with, but that the whole Sonship, Heaven is restored to the whole Sonship. Yes! that’s like getting up in a dark murky attitude and having something happen to you, perhaps as you’ve only walked two steps from the edge of your bed, and your vision has changed and all of a sudden, everything you look at is a promise of joy. Well, in the transition, in your holy relationship, your perspective changes. You have let the Father’s Perspective infill you and you’ve let It be yours by not resisting It, not claiming a right to another perspective. And as a result, the whole world is restored, we’ll say, to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Just because you found one someone worthy of abandoning your right to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions and manage to gain control so that you can manipulate even for the most lofty reasons. Of course everything I’ve just described is going on at some other level than the level of Reality—the level of the Living Waters. And so, none of it’s going on, not as an actuality and you’re still asleep.
Heaven is restored to all [all] the Sonship …
… the experience of Reality is returned to all that you see …
… through your relationship through your relationship, for in it lies the Sonship…
… in your perspective, in your purview, lies all of everything to be seen clearly through your enlightened perspective or to be seen through a glass darkly—miserably. It’s just a choice between two points of view. It’s a choice between two apparent levels: The level of Living Waters or the level of illusions—dreams.
Heaven has entered quietly, for all illusions have been gently brought unto the truth in you, and love has shined upon you…
… you see? In your willingness to give your attention at the level of the Living Waters…
… all illusions have been gently brought unto to the truth in you, and love has shined upon you blessing your relationship with truth. God and His whole creation have entered it together.
“Ah-h … I know, Paul can do it, Joe can do it, so-in-so can do it, but you know I’ve tried and tried and tried, but I don’t hear a thing …”
Well, don’t use that script! Persist! Because there is a God and you’re not alone. And you’re not just a mortal, you’re a divine Son of God. And all of your knowledge of who you Are, divinely speaking, as the Father is Being you at this very moment is held in trust by the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind held in trust while you pretend to be on a different level disconnected from the level of Living Water and somehow find meaning in saying, “On this level, I cannot get in touch with my Guide. Any awareness I’m supposed to have of my divinity and any capacity to embody it … no way! It can’t be experienced here. That is my word.” Or you could say that is your script.
If you want to rehearse that script, go ahead but it’s going to hurt just as it has hurt all along.
How lovely and how holy is your relationship, with the truth shining upon it!
When your attention is God’s treasure and you’ve given your attention to Him, and as a result of giving preference to that place of attentiveness, rather than you, you find yourself infilled—truth shines upon you and the one you’re in a holy relationship with. Heaven beholds it and rejoices that you have let it come to you. Another way of saying that is that all of the Brotherhood beholds it. Every single one of us are all in conscious connection with all of you constantly. And those of you who are sleeping are experienced as an emptiness that is obviously false. And what that means is that it’s clear to us that it’s not an emptiness—you are ignoring us. You are consciously choosing to do something other than experience your right Mind and experience Reality. But we behold it.
And when you let the light of truth come to you, we know it! And we do rejoice! It is a joy because we’re waiting for you. You could say we’re waiting for you to join the party, we’re waiting for you to join Reality and share it equally with us where we all Know that we Know.
You better believe that even when you are sitting conscientiously trying to get in touch with your Guide and you seem to be having no luck, that is a joy to us. Because you are bringing your attention to bear upon a place that you believe is dense enough to block your way when it isn’t. And we know that if you will persist and not succumb to the idea that what you’re pushing against is actually dense enough to cause you to fail in this effort, you will break through! It is inevitable!
And so I tell of this so that you might find even more justification for persisting. Because if this is the answer, if your attention is God’s treasure and if you’re giving your attention to God so that you can hear the truth is your salvation, then the practice of the holy instant is absolutely assured in its success.
The logic of what I’m saying can support you in your persistence. But I would rather have you rely upon the Love that I’m embracing you with as I share this because it’s even more powerful in your transformation than logic.
The universe within you stands with you, together.
It doesn’t just stand with you observing you … “hmm … yes, I see, yes I see what you are doing … I see where you are, you’re with me … um … bout two feet over … uh-huh . . you’re a little shorter than I am … uh-huh …”
That’s not being together! That’s being separate and observing!
The universe within you stands with you together—really together—without anything separating you, without the slightest dividing line, without the thinnest gauze fabric between you. It’s One.
And Heaven looks with love on what is joined in it…
… see? It’s an experience of Meaning. It feels like something and it feels divine. And you’re going to have this feeling of divinity and perfection right here without dying to go to another place called “Heaven.”
So, right now? Later on?
Every moment you’re in constitutes a threshold, a place for the holy instant to work and for you to be transformed, and for you to become so clear about your Brothers or your Brother or Sister with whom you’re engaging in a holy relationship, for you to recognize unequivocally that one’s divinity and, as I’ve said before, in that experience recognizing yours, and in those two recognitions, remembering God. Wow! That’s the perspective through which you will look at everything and find that everything has been brought into alignment in your mind with the truth, with the Heaven that it is.
Now, all of this requires trust. If you’re not going to rely upon memory, if you’re not going to rely upon everything you’ve ever known and even the newest things that are supposed to be even more practical, more powerful, more beneficial and give you more leverage to succeed, when you abandon that you abandon what you think is your security. And you say that I’m asking you to lean into the unknown, that I’m asking you to lean into the “Living Waters,” whatever the hell they are, “Oh yeah, the ‘Living Waters,’ yes, uh-um … the conscious awareness of truth, the Father’s Perspective, whatever the hell that means.”
I know, some of you graciously doubt and some of you ungraciously doubt. In other words, you have different degrees of objection that you bring into play. But the simple fact is, that you’re going to have to arrive at a point where you are willing, where you find significantly enough justification, because you care about your Brother or Sister more than you do to hold onto your best judgments and your supposed capacity to think on your own. Do you see?
Whom God has called should hear no substitutes.
Substitutes, like we talked about the fact last week: That God accepts no substitutes. You are His Son. You are His Daughter. Who you have decided you are, who you have decided you want to be is a substitute you’re placing between the Father and the Real You. You’re choosing to be something the Father didn’t Create. No, you’re choosing to pretend that you have become something the Father wouldn’t Create or couldn’t Create and that would be a substitute for the Father’s Son or Daughter. Well:
Whom God has called should hear no substitutes.
Not even the substitute you. Not even the substitute neighbor that you have made up as well. Not any of the substitutes that take place of what God is Really being right here and right now.
Whom God has called …
… in other words, when you practice the two-step and you hear the Voice of God … you hear the Holy Spirit—the Voice for God—and you discover the truth, you’re called by God. You’re called into Awakeness. You’re called into being conscious.
Whom God has called should hear no substitutes.
You should no longer hear any of the substitutes that you have made up.
Their call …
… if you do still hear them …
… is but an echo of the original error which shattered Heaven.
“Oh, but Father, I’d rather see it my way. Father, I’d rather do it myself. Father, I want a divorce.” By making an artificial division in that which can’t be divided, it shattered, we’ll say, the peace of Heaven. It shattered the conscious experience of what Heaven is, because you immediately began creating substitutes for the meanings the Father had given everything.
Their call …
… the call of substitutes …
… is but an echo of the original error which shattered Heaven. And what became of peace in those who heard?
… in those who heard the call for substitutes? What became of peace? Well, you know, you lost it. And you just have fragments or wisps of peace that drift in and out, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, but always leaving you at a disadvantage and never leaving you in a state of stability and confident safety.
Return with me …
… all of you who made substitutes.
Return with me …
… all of you who are still hearing the call of substitutes, even though your attention is being given in my direction—in the direction of the Father.
Return with me to Heaven, walking together out of this world …
… we could say, walking together out of this level of dreaming.
Return with me to Heaven, walking together out of this world and through another to the loveliness and joy the other holds within it.
That’s what I’m here for … to say, “Come on, come with me, join me.” And at the bottom line, that’s what your right Mind does and is saying as well—the Holy Spirit is.
Return with me to Heaven, walking together …
… you see, together. You’re not going to be able to do it by yourself. You’re going to want to stand at the place of the unknown—at the point of the unknown—where the Living Waters are coming forth that have never come forth before, so that everything you experience and say is utterly original and not one speck of it comes from memory, in other words, from the past.
Return with me to Heaven, walking together out of this world and through another to the loveliness and joy the other holds within it. Would you still further weaken and break apart what is already broken and hopeless?
In other words, do you want to stay in this other level of dream and manipulate the hell out of it further, thinking your accomplishing something and by virtue of the accomplishment proving that you’re a valid presence, even though you are part of the dream at that level because you’re unconscious. You are not standing with an inquisitive mind at the threshold of what you do not know—at the level of the Living Waters—where what comes through, what is experienced is hopelessly original in that moment because you are standing with God at the point of Creation where the new emerges.
Would you still further weaken and break apart what is already broken and hopeless? Is it here that you would look for happiness?
No, you’re tired of that. I promise you, you’re tired of that! This is not fun. You haven’t been having fun. Do you hear that? You haven’t been having fun. You haven’t been experiencing joy. You haven’t been experiencing safety. You haven’t been experiencing invulnerability and all the blessings of it—the absence of guilt, the absence of unforgiving fear.
Is it here that you would look for happiness?
We know that that’s not really what you want to do.
Or would you not prefer to heal what has been broken, and join in making whole what has been ravaged by separation and disease?
Stop being willing to settle for mediocrity or worse. You don’t have to. In fact you’re obligated by the nature of what you Are to do the opposite. Reach out beyond what you think is possible. Reach out beyond the level of memories and convictions built upon those memories so that you might stand at the edge of the unknown where the Living Waters pour forth into expression as your conscious experience of Being.
You have been called…
… you have. Now don’t get egotistical here: You have been called … you above all others have been called or even if it’s not above all others, you have been called and that obviously makes you a little bit special.
You want to know something? The moment you decided to behave as though you were out of your mind, to behave as though you had a mind that wasn’t God’s possession and attention that it wasn’t God’s treasure to have, the moment you thought you would adopt that attitude and the split occurred and your right Mind seemed to be unavailable to you, [snaps fingers] at that moment, it started calling for you. It started saying, “You can’t accomplish the impossible. You can’t accomplish what you are doing. Listen for My Voice and I will bring you back into your sanity.” So you have been called. And you have been called since the moment you decided to get a divorce from your Father.
You have been called, together, to the most holy function that this world contains.
Now that sounds wonderful. But please understand that the Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than your right Mind calling you to come back into the full possession of your Mind—is calling you to engage in a most holy function: To be the Son or Daughter of God that you actually Are.
You have been called, together…
… the two of you who have joined in a holy relationship successfully …
… to the most holy function that this world contains.
Now if that’s not a goal worthy of anyone’s attention I don’t know what is, especially since it is utterly simple.
It is the only one which has no limits, and reaches out to every broken fragment of the Sonship with healing and uniting comfort.
I know, you’re too busy being miserable and you’re too busy getting even for the discomfort that’s been inflicted upon you. But you have a holy function…
… one which has no limits, and reaches out to every broken fragment …
… like with compassion, with caring. Not with manipulation, not with trying to get the better of another one, with love …
… reaches out to every broken fragment of the Sonship with healing and uniting comfort. This is offered YOU, in your holy relationship. Accept it here, and you will give as you have accepted.
When you wake up in the morning with a chipper attitude and you look out, you give that chipper attitude. You don’t even stop and think about it, “Oh, I’m going to give some of my chipper attitude to that Robin over there. Oh, I’m going to give some of it to that flower over there. Oh, I’m going to give it to this beautiful sky.” No, you have a chipper attitude and it just colors your experience of everything.
The holy experience of the holy relationship colors every aspect of your experience—it’s given to every aspect of your experience. You can’t help but do it and it becomes your activity. And there’s no effort to it because you didn’t do it. It just happened. That’s the marvel of it.
And what I’m saying is true of everyone. The holy instant is for everyone to practice and for everyone to succeed at without qualification.
The peace of God is given you …
… and when you receive it and feel it, it’s given everyone else by you.
The peace of God is given you with the glowing purpose in which you join. The holy light that brought you together must extend…
… no choice about it. It must. It does …
… as YOU accepted it.
Now, I need to throw you off balance a little bit, because you will tend to take what I’ve said this evening and let it fit into preconceptions you have. And that’s not going into the holy instant at the level of the Living Waters where you don’t know. Any preconceptions you bring with you, you bring with you to give yourself a sense of balance while you’re doing this thing, where you are going to lose your balance by stepping into the unknown and letting that which you’ve never heard before be revealed to you. You don’t know what doing this is going to look like. You don’t know what you’re going to do.
We certainly have broached upon the subject of that dirty word “involvement,” where you love your Brother or Sister enough to be present with him or her in the middle of injustice or in the middle of chaos and care enough to find a way to look at them and remember God so you can bare witness to the truth about them.
Now, Spring is—even though it is Winter now—Spring is busting out all over on your globe. Brother and Sister are looking at each other and remembering that they have a voice. You know, when things go along relatively smoothly … relatively smoothly, and there are no great demands upon everyone, everyone can become complacent, relax, I’m going to say, too much. Meaning, relax to the point of forgetting Birthrights, relaxing to the point where there’s no need to make demands for everything or for anything because basically everything is running rather smoothly.
But in the process one can forget that one has a voice. One can forget that there is a need to bear witness for your Brother or your Sister. There is a need in the middle of crisis, in the middle of injustice no matter who seems to have started it, there is a need to let your Brother or Sister be enough justification for you to say, “Father, what is the truth here? Father, what is needed here?” And then if, through the movement of the Living Waters in you, you find that you need to go out and throw some rocks or stand firmly against an onslaught of injustice coming in the form of unjust preservation of law, if you find that you need to occupy someone’s backyard whose house is being inappropriately taken away from them, if you find that you need to stand with others and say, “No!” even though you think it’s impossible because of course, it’s the government, it’s the financial system, it’s the setup itself … you can’t do anything about it. Well, it’s not true.
You may find yourself called upon as a practice of the holy instant and as a practice of establishing holy relationships, that you will do uncommon things in acts that elicit respect for human decency, that stand in respect of Brothers and Sisters who, because they really are the Sons and Daughters of God, do not deserve to be fooled into thinking that they must just roll over and be taken advantage of without any experience of Brotherhood being expressed, where one stands with another, where many stand with many others witnessing for the truth, witnessing for justice, witnessing for safety, witnessing for no more threat, witnessing for no more greed at the expense of others.
Beautiful words we read tonight. You never know what the practical application of them will be and don’t be afraid of it. And by all means realize that when you dare to engage in the holy instant—the level of the Living Waters—your life is going to become exciting, interesting, stimulated by that which brings forth the best, that which is transformational, that which will be a source of joy.
And thank God you can’t know ahead of time what it is and what it’s going to look like, because if you did you would limit it terribly.
I love you all. Remember, the practice of the holy instant is a kick-ass activity in the best meaning of those words. Embrace it.
I love you again. And I look forward to being with you next time.
T18.1 Substitution as a Defense ↩︎