Apr 22, 2012
T18.8 The Purpose of the Body

Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet. You know, never should you think that the study of the Course is bound to be a protracted process that is difficult, that is somehow different from your nature and therefore something not easily graspable by you.

During these past few weeks while we’ve been discussing in great detail the nature of the holy instant and the role of the holy relationship, it has become clearer and clearer how simple Awakening is. It’s something that occurs in the silence when you choose to silence your thoughts and make an enquiry of the Father, “what is the truth here?” meaning, “Father, what is Your Perspective regardless of my perspective?” It’s done in the silence—a simple question and then a simple giving of attention in the silence.

We’ve discussed the fact that it’s in this place of joining with your Father—this rejoining with your Father—that you move into an arena where God’s laws prevail. The arena is the arena of silence—the arena of the absence of your busy, controlling thinking. That’s all … that’s all.

One clearly absolute requirement that accompanies this is the necessity of doing it on behalf of a Brother or of a Sister or of some part of God’s Creation—some part of the world and universe that is confronting you. You cannot do it for yourself and yourself alone. You get the benefit of what you give. And that’s the way it works.

You see, when you said, “Father I’d rather do it my way, Father I’d rather make up the definitions and the meanings for everything, Father I want a divorce” and you did this with a Brother in tandem, in a mutual agreement to do so, you caused yourself to experience being disconnected from your Source. And as we discussed, you began to see yourself as an object instead of that conscious awareness which is the Mind of God in You, enjoying the Father’s Perspective regarding the Kingdom of Heaven, which is not made up of objects but made up of Ideas which are perfectly tangible to the Mind that formed them.

When you shifted with commitment to your own private personal perspective, you not only experienced separation from the Father, you experienced separation from your Brothers and Sisters—the object that you became are the objects that they became.

And so your intimate connection with them was lost. Why? Because in this place of isolation, you felt fear and guilt because it was not natural to your Being. And so you became defensive. You became self-protective against the very Brother with whom you made a mutual agreement to make up all of the meanings for everything.

Do you see what kind of an untenable position this created? [snaps fingers] It instantly created tension! You need your Brother to join in the mutual agreement to stand separate from the Father. And yet, in the standing apart, you became opponents. You became enemies, either mild enemies or potentially great enemies.

And so it creates a push-me-pull-you state of tension: “I need you but I don’t trust you. You are essential to my being in this place where I can make decisions and be in charge of things myself. But I cannot trust you and so I engage in this mutual agreement with you carefully, untrustingly and therefore, it puts us in a constant state of potential war … sometimes actualized.”

You didn’t expect that, when the two of you said, “Let’s make up our own definitions and lets agree to them together so that they have more substance than just our puny imagination.”

So, in order to return to your sanity, in order to Wake up, in order to have the Father’s Perspective which is your true perspective returned to you, you must undo the divorce from your Father which estranged you from your Brothers and Sisters. And this is why it is an inescapable absolute fact that Awakening requires your doing the Awakening—your practicing the two-step—on behalf of your Brother or your Sister or some part of the infinitude of Creation that you see as an object different from you, dangerous to you. You see?

Now, this still sounds complicated. What if your Brother doesn’t agree … what if your Sister doesn’t cooperate? “What if I have an ancient grudge or grievance that I’m unwilling to let go of, I’ll be stuck here forever.” And it would seem to you that there must be hundreds of thousands if not millions of little justifications for not Awakening that will stand in your way, making Awakening a formidable if not impossible task.

But remember what we discussed last week. The one simple thing that needs to be brought into the picture is not a war against your ego, but rather a simple practice of curiosity—a curiosity to see the more of what God is Being right here, right there, anywhere, than what you’re seeing. The curiosity to see the more of what God is Being right there anywhere, than what you’re seeing.

You may find it impossible to lay down a grievance, but it is relatively easy to practice curiosity. Especially when you have heard me say over and over in so many different ways that the practice of curiosity invites one thing: When you say, “Father”—here’s the curiosity—“what is the truth here?” you’re abandoning your isolation and you’re asking for a perspective greater than the one you’re currently suffering from.

That is simple … that is simple.

I’ve made it clear that the payoff for doing this—this practice of curiosity—will inevitably come and it will not cost you anything. It will constitute an experience of fulfillment. So if for any reason you thought, “Boy, it’s taking us a long time to get through the book, is it going to be another eight years before we get to the end and can Wake up?” No. Wake up tonight. Practice curiosity tonight, tomorrow, today. You see?

Practice curiosity with whatever degree of safety you have been able to acquire through listening to me explain the nature of Awakening, the process of it, the steps of it, and the fact that coming back into your Right Mind is a natural wholizing process, not an unnatural traumatic process.

And so you can dare to practice curiosity with a little bit more carefree abandon.

Now, continuing in the book, we ended up last week referring to this private sense of self-hood:

This little self is not your kingdom.1

It is not your kingdom …

Arched high above it and surrounding it with love is the glorious whole, which offers all its happiness and deep content to every part. The little aspect which you think you set apart is no exception.

In other words, this little part of the wholeness of you that you’ve said is what you are, is no exception to the fact that all of Creation, all of infinity, all of the wholeness of you is what is inside this little boundary that you’ve created. And so you are not any different from the wholeness of You, and the wholeness of You which we’ve called the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind held in trust for you while you keep reinforcing this flimsy bubble—this flimsy boundary … you see?

You are embraced by and constituted of everything that’s outside the bubble because the bubble is just creating an artificial boundary between the whole of You—the whole of God’s Mind, the whole of God’s Creation.

Now …

Love knows no bodies…

… and that isn’t because bodies are an illusion.

Love knows no bodies…

… as boundaries.

Love knows no bodies…

… as that which you have devised through an incredible use of your imaginations. Love knows no boundaries. That’s what it means …

… and reaches to everything created like itself.

In other words, it doesn’t reach to that which you’ve created, that which you’ve imagineered. You see?

[It] reaches to everything created like itself.

So it reaches to that which is inside the bubble, and it reaches to that which is outside the bubble, because what’s inside and outside is the same thing. And the bubble is nonsense to Love because it’s not actual. It only seems actual to you in your mind’s eye through the use of your imagination.

So again:

Love knows no bodies, and reaches to everything created like itself. Its total lack of limit IS its meaning.

You see? … and you inside the bubble … you see, the total limit established by the bubble is your meaning, is the meaning you have established for yourself. You see? But it’s just imagination and you can abandon it at any moment that you would rather Wake up, that you would rather release your anger, your frustration, your pride, your attempt to become great all by yourself, on your terms by means of your definitions.

Love …

It is completely impartial in its giving, encompassing …

… embracing …

… only to preserve and keep complete what it would give.

You see, if it didn’t embrace it and it let a little bit slip out of it’s embrace, well that little bit wouldn’t be kept whole with the whole, would it? Suddenly we have a little random gad-about, sourceless, looks like love, but it’s not embraced in everything. You see? Nonsense!

[Love] is completely impartial in its giving, encompassing only to preserve and keep complete …

… or whole …

… what it would give. In your tiny kingdom you have so little!

Poor you. Poor everyone. But it was set up that way so that you could achieve, so that you could get, so that you could accumulate and prove your worth by your accumulations. Littleness is essential to satisfaction and accomplishment. Because when you can overcome the littleness you have proven yourself to be real.

In your tiny kingdom you have so little!

Do you have an abundance of health eternally? No. You just have a little bit: um…possibly seventy, eighty, ninety years? That’s not much. And you accept it. You don’t like it but you have thought that’s the way it is. That’s what life is … short … little.

In your tiny kingdom you have so little! Should it not, then, be there that you would call on love to enter?

Yes! And that’s the function of the two-step. That’s the function of the holy instant and that’s the purpose of a holy relationship. You see how it all fits together?

You don’t try to escape the awfulness of your little kingdom, you invite that which is Big into it. How do you do that? You do it by causing a pin-prick in the bubble. And you cause the pin-prick in the bubble by reaching beyond it: “Father, Holy Spirit”—that which is outside the bubble—“what is the truth?” You see?

Should it not, then, be there that you would call on love to enter? Look at the desert…

… look at the barrenness of your life. Look at the sickness, sin, and death. Look at the predominance of effort and strain as opposed to abundance and peace.

Look at the desert, dry and unproductive, scorched and joyless, which makes up your little kingdom.

… but which you’ve tried to make something out of. And you’re proud of what you have managed to provide and create and it’s given you some satisfaction that causes you to want to work even harder at doing even more without abandoning your isolation.

Look at the desert, dry and unproductive, scorched and joyless, which makes up your little kingdom.

Now, let’s face it. That’s what life without your Source already is. Every day you …

Look at the desert, dry and unproductive, scorched and joyless, which makes up your little kingdom.

… and it depresses you! It does not make you happy and it shouldn’t. But understand that you’re already doing this. We’re talking about not just doing that. Listen …

Look at the desert, dry and unproductive…

… look at it for what it is. Don’t gloss it over. Don’t see it as some integral part—necessary part—of your achieving success, something that you would thereby want to keep and use for your progress.

Look at the desert, dry and unproductive, scorched and joyless, which makes up your little kingdom. And realize the life and joy which love would bring to it from where it comes, and where it would return with you.

You see? Quite a difference. Take a square hard look at what isn’t satisfying.

And realize the life and joy which love …

… which fills infinity beyond the bubble as well as within the bubble …

… would bring to it from where it comes…

… would bring to the inside of the bubble from the outside of the bubble …

… and where it would return with you.

By virtue of its entry into the bubble and your desire to reach beyond the bubble, the bubble will burst. And you will be with love in the wholeness of your Being, in Creation itself with the Father’s Perspective.

The Thought of God surrounds your little kingdom…

… Creation, the Kingdom of Heaven, as what It is, inside and outside the bubble, actually asserts Itself to burst the bubble because it’s an unnatural, unreal phenomena that doesn’t fit.

The Thought of God surrounds your little kingdom, waiting at the barrier you built to come inside and shine upon the barren ground. See how life springs up everywhere!

When that happens…

… See how life springs up everywhere! The desert becomes a garden, green and deep and quiet, offering rest to those who lost their way and wander in the dust.

The only reason they’re wandering in dust and the only reason there seems to be dust instead of green, lush, verdant life is because the definition given to the earth is one of evolution through struggle. And so the evidence of what makes it a struggling affair is built right into it and the dust covers everything, covering up its lush greenness and moisture.

But Creation as the Father is Being It, is present right there, out of sight, underneath the definitions you have applied on top of it. You see? That’s why all that’s needed is curiosity, not a makeover of a false creation that’s “real.”

Give them … those who lost their way and wander in the dust.

Give them a place of refuge, prepared by love for them where once a desert was.

Well, how’s this place prepared for them? It’s prepared for them by your caring enough to want to know the truth, the God’s honest truth about them—your Brothers and Sisters—and about this world and universe that you have forgotten is actually the Kingdom of Heaven and which you are not expressing any curiosity to see for what It truly Is.

You’re going to prepare this place for those who are weary of the struggle, by virtue of wanting to know what the truth is for them, not so that you can become great or have it for yourself. But in your willingness to desire it for them to become conscious of it so that it’s easy to share the truth with them, you get to keep what you give.

But boy, try and get it for yourself alone and you’re just rehearsing what you’ve always been doing in the dream and it won’t cause Awakening.

Give them a place of refuge, prepared by love …

… your desire to know what is Real.

Give them a place of refuge, prepared by love for them where once a desert was. And everyone you welcome will bring love with him from Heaven for you.

Listen … you don’t want to miss some of these important words

And everyone you welcome will bring love with him from Heaven for you.

Now mind you, these that you’re welcoming are those who have …

… lost their way and wander in the dust.

So these are not Awakened Brothers. But it says …

… everyone you welcome will bring love with him from Heaven for you.

Here’s the key word, “welcome.”

And everyone you welcome …

Remember, I started out this evening talking about the fact that when you got a divorce from your Father and lost your connection, you also lost your intimate loving connection with your Brother because your Brother became somebody you could not trust. And so your Brother became your enemy. And as a result, you treat everyone with guarded care. Some you don’t have to bring as much concern to and other’s you have to be very alert for—you think. But you never allow yourself to be totally vulnerable with anyone, because at the bottom line you do not welcome them. You are guarded. You practice doubt.

In many ways you become a sleuth and you become very good at spotting irregularities that might pin-point a deviant behavior or intent that might be to your disadvantage. You see? But listen to this again:

And everyone you welcome will bring love with him from Heaven for you.

That’s what happens when you stop seeing your Brother as an opponent, as someone untrustworthy. The moment you abandon your defense against him and let him in defenselessly, he will bring love with him, she will bring love with her, because he or she feels your benignness. It’s that simple. You will find everyone’s behavior changing.

And everyone you welcome will bring love with him from Heaven for you.

That one will feel safe enough to be defenseless himself or herself, and what will exude from them will be their Heaven-sent nature, which they are safe to share with you.

They enter one by one into this holy place, but they will not depart as they had come, alone.

Joining will have occurred because you welcomed them and they could feel it. This is the effect of the holy instant. And the capacity to treat your Brothers that way arises out of your willingness to treat one Brother that way.

The love they brought with them will stay with them…

… it won’t be stolen away to add to your good, it …

… will stay with them, as it will stay with YOU. And under its beneficence, your little garden will expand, and reach out to everyone who thirsts for living water, but has grown too weary to go on alone.

You see? What you are willing to bring to one Brother in a holy relationship, you begin to be able to bring to many Brothers. And so the breakdown of isolation expands. Embrace includes more and more. And so once the movement begins it progresses until it becomes all inclusive. And all the way along the way you will be practicing loving your Brother and Sister, reaching out to more and more of them on purpose because it’s your function and there’s nothing that you would rather do than be part of that which is the transformation of the orphanage into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Go out and find them…

… there you go. You’ve listened to know how to use your body sinlessly, in other words, for something other than self-defense. And when you do, you’re given a task. You find what it’s appropriate to be being and it’s easy to be that. And so you do.

Go out and find them, for they bring your Self with them.

They bring their Self with them and they bring their capacity to see your Self with them. And because you’re undefended, you’re not relating to them as a body which is a boundary. They feel welcome and welcomed. And they give from the truth of them. I promise you, this is what it’s about.

And lead them gently to your quiet garden, and receive their blessing there. So will it grow and stretch across the desert, leaving no lonely little kingdoms …

… um, you know, little egos with their kingdoms inside their head.

So will it grow and stretch across the desert, leaving no lonely little kingdoms locked away from love…

… why? Because you care enough to engage in the holy instant with them. And because you care enough to have a holy relationship with them, which is one of love and inclusion, rather than self-protection and defense. And mind you, you can start that tonight. You can start it right now, whenever it is you’re listening to this. And you don’t have to put it off. Now is the time.

So will it grow and stretch across the desert, leaving no lonely little kingdoms locked away from love, and leaving YOU inside. And you will recognize yourself, and see your little garden gently transformed into the Kingdom of Heaven…

… not like it was really something else, but it will be transformed into what it always was, because you will not be reinforcing the definitions you have brought into play for the purpose of making something great out of yourself. You won’t be doing this anymore or you won’t be trying to do this anymore.

… you will recognize yourself, and see your little garden gently transformed into the Kingdom of Heaven, with all the love of its Creator shining upon it.

Uh-oh … with all the love of its Creator … is that you? Is that the you who’s Waking up? No. Its Creator is God. Its Creator is the infinite Mind, which moves, the Movement of which is Creation. And your function is to acknowledge It for what It is, and in that acknowledgment be co-creator with the Father.

The holy instant is your invitation to love, to enter into your bleak and joyless kingdom…

… see, it’s not about you doing something like …

The holy instant is your invitation to love…

… not your invitation to be loving yourself, but …

The holy instant is your invitation to love, to enter into your bleak and joyless kingdom…

… this love that is filling. Infinity beyond the circumference of the bubble that you’ve used to separate a little part of your wholeness off from the rest so that it could become something important. So:

The holy instant is your invitation to love, to enter into your bleak and joyless kingdom, and to transform it into a garden of peace and welcome.

That’s the effect of practicing the two-step and the holy instant. That’s the effect of the simple practice of the two-step and the holy instant.

Love’s answer …

… what did I say?

… is inevitable.

That which is outside the bubble will inevitably perforate and pass through the bubble causing it to no longer seem to separate what is actually One.

It will come because you came without the body…

… now what does it really mean? Because you came without the boundary, you came without the practice of defense …

… and interposed no barriers which would interfere with its glad coming. In the holy instant, you ask of love only what it offers everyone, neither less nor more. ASKING for everything, you will RECEIVE it.

Demanding it, thinking you can create it yourself out of whole cloth, out of imagination won’t work.

ASKING …

… isn’t that humiliating, like begging?

ASKING for everything, you will RECEIVE it. And your shining Self will lift the tiny aspect which you tried to hide from Heaven straight INTO Heaven.

Listen to that again:

And your shining Self will lift the tiny aspect which you tried to hide from Heaven straight INTO Heaven.

The bubble pops and that of you which you were only paying attention to within the bubble is immediately sucked into, immediately finds itself in the middle of the Whole—the all of You.

No part of love calls on the whole in vain. No Son of God remains outside His Fatherhood.

Be sure of this; love has entered your special relationship…

Now we’re not using the word “special relationship” every time we read from the last couple of chapters, but the context of all of this is the replacement of the special relationship with the holy relationship. And so if you thought that because we weren’t talking about special or holy relationships quite as much as we have about the holy instant don’t think that you can Wake up without this fundamental intimate involvement with your Brother where your Brother is the reason you use for wanting to know what the truth is here.

Be sure of this; love has entered your special relationship, and entered fully at your weak request.

You don’t abandon what you love joyfully or vocally or loudly, or with great strength. You’re not sure if you really want to Awaken. You don’t even know for sure whether there is really anything to Awaken into. And so you sort of gingerly—like you would step into a cold swimming pool, stick a toe in—you gingerly, lightly, weakly desire to know the truth. Doesn’t make any difference if you do it, if you make the request, if you express the curiosity it will be rewarded.

You do not recognize that love has come because you have not yet let go of all the barriers you hold against each other. And you will not be able to give love welcome separately.

Just absolutely fundamental:

… you will not be able to give love welcome separately. You could no more know God alone than He knows you without your brother. But, TOGETHER, you could no more be unaware of love than love could know you not, or fail to recognize itself in you.

You see, Awakening is the undoing of an ignorance of what’s Real, of what is already true and could never have changed. Waking up is remembering what you have always been, even though you have been pre-occupied with your imagination and your great investment of commitment to it. So it does not take a great amount of effort or strength to reconfigure everything. All it takes is the willingness to abandon the commitment you have to the definitions you have made up which you have so far been unwilling to release because you think your life depends upon them.

Releasing them is the simple abandonment of a faith in something that isn’t Real, an imagination, an idea. That’s all. Remember this. That’s why you can Wake up tonight or today or tomorrow … not way down the line.

You have reached the end of an ancient journey, not realizing yet that it is over. You are still worn and tired, and the desert’s dust still seems to cloud your eyes and keep you sightless. Yet He Whom you welcomed has come to you, and would welcome YOU.

Your Brother … your Brothers and Sisters.

Yet He Whom you welcomed …

… He Whom you confronted without defense. He Whom you confronted without a preoccupation with your own safety will allow himself or herself to be received by you without defense as well.

Yet He Whom you welcomed …

… embraced defenselessly …

… has come to you, and would welcome …

… embrace defenselessly …

… YOU.

You see? What you give you receive and what you give you get to keep. It’s a simple principle.

He has waited long to give you this …

… your Brothers and Sisters have. Your Brothers and Sisters don’t know it yet, not all of them. Not those who are sick in the dream. But nevertheless, this is not their natural state. And that which is natural in them has waited a long time to be in touch with that which is natural in you.

He has waited long to give you this. Receive it now of Him…

… you can’t receive through a boundary. You can’t receive through a defense, but you can receive through defenseless welcome.

Receive it now of Him, for He would have you know Him.

Now we’re not talking about an Awakened brother. We’re talking about the guy who lives next door or the lady who lives up above you … or the child who is hollering and crying in the other room because he’s impatient.

Receive it now of Him, for He would have you know Him.

… not who he believes he is.

Only a little wall of dust …

… or a flimsy bit of water and soap …

… still stands between you. Blow on it lightly and with happy laughter and it will fall away, and walk into the garden love has prepared for BOTH of you.

I could ask you, what keeps you from doing it? But you know what? You are going to get caught up for the next five weeks or five months trying to answer that and thinking that the answer to it would be somehow valuable and contributive.

Don’t wonder or explore why you’re not doing it. [snaps fingers] Do it with carefree abandon, what you might feel is carelessness. [snaps fingers] Do it! It’s what it’s all about. And it’s the only thing standing between you—the doing or not doing of it—is the only thing that stands between you. No, the not doing of it is the only thing that stands between you and your Awakening and the Gift you would bring to everyone who is still dreaming.

I love you. I love you all. Have fun stepping up to the flimsy boundary and diving through it or blowing on it or laughing at it. And invite the Father’s Perspective in … invite Love’s Presence in … invite the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind, in Its totality, in.

And I look forward to being with you next week.

  1. T18.8 The Purpose of the Body ↩︎

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