Sept 23, 2013
T30.1 Rules for Decision

Good evening. And welcome to everyone who is joining us on the internet. We have jumped ahead in the book to the next to the last chapter – Chapter 30. And the Chapter is entitled:

The New Beginning1

And it begins …

The new beginning now becomes the focus of the curriculum.

Well, actually the new beginning has been the very clear focus of what I’ve been teaching ever since we began at the beginning of the book, but especially since last May. I have been homing in on the practice of the holy instant, which is the new beginning.

Again:

The new beginning now becomes the focus of the curriculum. The goal is clear…

… and certainly, I’ve been making it clear over and over and over again for the last few months.

Then last week, we talked about inertia. We talked about the fact that habits are not abandoned easily. Inertia is the tendency to continue doing what has been happening. You have all been thinkers. You have all thought that thinking was something that constantly goes on. It’s what happens whenever you’re conscious. And we’ve been correcting that misunderstanding.

Now the fact is that when you engage in practicing the holy instant, the first step is to become silent – to still the mind, to stop the thinking. And you have found it difficult to do. You still the thinking and then you ask of the Holy Spirit or the Father, “What is the truth?” and you listen, still remaining silent – still not thinking.

I have shared with you, and you have had the experience, even if it is an inconsistent experience, that when you listen having inquired beyond your thinking, the Answer will be provided.

You are not meant to be unconscious of the Father’s Perspective. His Perspective is instilled in you, embodied in you. And since you have substituted your own thinking for that, you are having to undo the habit so that your right Mind can be returned to you, so that you might discover that you are indeed, the holy Son or Daughter of God.

So, again in the book:

The goal is clear, but now you need specific methods for attaining it.

Why? Because of inertia. That’s why we are moving forward in the book because this section will illustrate You to you in your process of learning to listen and not reestablishing thinking. It is something I encourage you to keep with you constantly until you have arrived at the point where you practice the holy instant without interruption. Because listening, joining, hearing and cooperating with God is the divinely natural way for you to be. And it is inevitable for that to become reestablished as your, shall I say, new habit of Being. So:

The goal is clear, but now you need specific methods for attaining it. The speed by which it can be reached depends on this one thing alone; your willingness to practice every step.

And of course, we’ve referred to the practice of the holy instant as the practice of the two-step:

Step one: Shutting up.

Step two: Asking, “What is the truth here? What do I need to Know? What is Your Perspective, Father?”

And then while continuing to be silent, listening while you are infilled with the Answer.

Now the time will come when you will stop asking questions because your attention – your ongoing attention – will be the question itself. And the ongoing attention will allow for the ongoing influx of the Father’s Perspective now … now … now … now. And you won’t ask questions anymore as though you are an unknowing entity that must enquire in order to know something. So:

The speed by which it can be reached depends on this one thing alone; your willingness to practice every step.

Now:

Each one will help a little every time it is attempted. And together will these steps lead you from dreams of judgment …

… thinking …

… to forgiving dreams and out of pain and fear. They are not new to you…

… that’s important. They are not new to you. We’ve discussed them at length. You even know how to practice them without being confused about what the practice is.

They are not new to you, but they are more ideas than rules of thought to you as yet. So now we need to practice them awhile, until they are the rules by which you live.

No longer merely ideas.

We seek to make them habits now, so you will have them ready for whatever need.

And so we have a new section entitled:

Rules for Decision

These are the steps you will take when you fail at the two-step.

Decisions are continuous. You do not always know when you are making them. But with a little practice with the ones you recognize, a set begins to form which sees you through the rest. It is not wise to let yourself become preoccupied with every step you take. The proper set, adopted consciously each time you wake, will put you well ahead.

Well, what do you imagine the sets might be? Again, fortunately, it’s simple. There are only two sets to choose from and each set represents the voice you’re choosing to listen to – the voice you’re giving your attention to. The results are entirely different – a hundred and eighty degrees out of sync with each other. They are easy to recognize. But listening to the Voice for Truth, the Holy Spirit is something you’re not totally familiar with. Listening to the voice for fear you are well versed in.

And so, you must learn how to distinguish between the two so that a choice can be made.

The proper set, adopted consciously each time you wake…

… every morning … every morning as we’ve discussed, before you climb out of bed, decide which voice you’re going to listen to today. And then make the connection right there while your head is still on the pillow. “Oh, you don’t have time? Oh, my goodness, you’ve got to get to work? Oh, you’ve got a whole lot of things to do before you go out the door because you forgot to take care of it last night?”

NO! Before anything else say, “Holy Spirit, are you there?” You see? Simple. The means of connection is simple and only takes a moment. “Holy Spirit, are you there? My Guide, are you there?” And don’t move until you hear the answer, “Yes.” And then tell your Guide that you intend to stay with Him or Her throughout the day and if you fail, you ask for help. Then get up and begin to take care of the things that need to be taken care of. But be careful, because the tendency will be to take charge once again without being in communion with your Guide … without having the Father’s Perspective available to you to know how to deal with whatever the needs are. So:

The proper set, adopted consciously each time you wake, will put you well ahead. And if you find resistance strong and dedication weak, you are not ready. DO NOT FIGHT YOURSELF.

You see? When you realize, “Oops, I started thinking for myself!” do not get angry with yourself, do not fight yourself, do not criticize or condemn yourself.

But think about the kind of day you want, and tell yourself there IS a way in which this very day can happen just like that. Then try again to have the day you want.

What kind of day do you want? Does that mean to imagine that you would like to drive down a freeway where everyone is easy-going where you encounter no accidents? Does it mean that you imagine events that you would like to have? Or, does it mean that you’re going to return to the basic point of deciding which voice you’re going to listen to.

Which voice is going to be your companion through the day?

So think about the kind of day you want. A day joined with the Holy Spirit guiding you surely and safely and happily through your day whatever happens.

[But] think about the kind of day you want, and tell yourself there IS a way in which this very day can happen just like that.

There is a way for you to have the day joined with the Holy Spirit.

Then try again to have the day you want.

Reconnect and stay connected.

The outlook starts with this …

And these are the rules:

One: “Today I will make no decisions by myself.”

Sound familiar? “Today I will listen for Thy Voice lest my footsteps stray. Today I will make decisions only in tandem with Your Guidance. I will let You tell me what my decisions are to be.”

Again:

“Today I will make no decisions by myself.”

This means that you are choosing not to be the judge of what to do. And this is what is so insulting to the ego. It must be the judge of what to do. Because in that way it builds itself up. It creates credibility for itself, which of course, it has none of. So:

This means that you are choosing not to be the judge of what to do. But it must also mean you will not judge the situations where you will be called upon to make response.

Now I’ll tell you, that almost daily Paul will get up in the morning and ask, “What’s the order of the day?” And I will share with him the general outline and sometimes even specifics regarding the day and he’s very cooperative – agreeable. And he has a sense of an orderly day ahead of him that has been set by a tone from me.

And then as he proceeds through the day, events happen that I didn’t mention, or situations arise that cause him to have to extend himself in places he doesn’t feel like extending himself. And it becomes problematic. And he’s had to recognize that choosing not to be the judge of what to do must also mean he will not judge the situations where he is called upon to make response.

For if you judge them…

… if he judges them …

you have set the rules …

… you have set the rules, he has …

… set the rules for how [he] should react to them. And then another answer cannot but produce confusion and uncertainty and fear.

Well, Paul has found very often that another answer from the one he is sure of, very often involves engaging in the activity that he didn’t want to engage in, because, well, it wasn’t as holy as the outline of the day that I had shared with him.

And so, when I say to him, “Here is the place to let me speak, here is the place to love enough to not abandon the situation or the individual, and relieve yourself of the effort it takes to ask to know what the truth is in a situation you’re interested in doing that in.” You see?

Every single one of you has or will have that experience. And so, when he gets another answer – an answer different from the one I’m giving – it produces confusion and uncertainty and fear. You see? Because Paul has the tendency to feel secure if he knows with Guidance what is going to happen, or what needs to be attended to. And that’s not the place to get security.

Security is acquired by learning as a surfer learns, to always stay at the point of balance on the moving wave. You see? Now:

This is your major problem now. You still make up your mind, and THEN decide to ask what you should do. And what you hear may not resolve the problem as YOU saw it first. This leads to fear because it contradicts what you perceive, and so you feel attacked.

Well, what if you have a partner who is also engaging in practicing the holy instant and the two-step, and that partner knows that you are as well? And so, when you get off the beam, by taking authority over the situation without being joined and [he/she] points it out to you, you feel attacked. Or even just having an answer different from the one you expected can cause you to feel unembraced, at odds with … when after all, your intent is to be cooperating …

… and so you feel attacked. And therefore angry.

Now:

There are rules by which this will not happen.

And these are the rules we’re talking about, the rules for decision.

There are rules by which this will not happen. But it does occur at first, while you are learning how to hear.

You see how beautifully and simply it expresses what we’ve been discussing?

Now Rule number two:

Four: Throughout the day, at any time you think of it, and have a quiet moment for reflection, tell yourself again the kind of day you want; the feelings you would have, the things you want to happen to you, and the things you would experience, and say,

“If I make no decision by myself, This is the kind of day that will be GIVEN me.”

It’s that simple. Tell yourself again the kind of day you want: A joined day – a day in which you are companioned with the Holy Spirit or the Christ or the Father. That’s the kind of day you want and the feelings you would have that accompany that joining, the things you want to happen to you. Well, the things you want to happen to you are the things that the Father unfolds.

And the things you would experience? The Perspective and the capacity to feel divinely every aspect of what unfolds in your day. You see? And so you say:

“If I make no decision by myself, This is the kind of day that will be GIVEN me.”

These two procedures…

… the first two rules …

… practiced well, will serve to let you be directed without fear, for opposition will not first arise and then become a problem in itself.

But there will still be times when you have judged already. Now the answer will provoke attack, unless you quickly straighten out your mind to want an answer that will work. Be certain this has happened if you feel yourself unwilling to sit by, and ask to have the answer given you.

You see? Well, who wants to sit by [chuckle] and have the answer given to him when he can figure it out for himself? Or he already knows what the answer is and simply needs to implement it.

Well, if you feel yourself unwilling to be what feels to you like being a dunce on a stool, having not enough gumption to get answers yourself, but to ask for someone else or something else to provide you with the answer, well, you can be certain that you’re not joined anymore. And the feeling will be entirely different: One hundred an eighty degrees out of sync with what you will feel when you are listening to and not resisting the Holy Spirit, which I will remind you, is nothing more than your right Mind. So …

… if you feel yourself unwilling to sit by, and ask to have the answer given you. This means you HAVE decided by yourself, and cannot see the QUESTION. Now you need a quick restorative before you ask.

And so here’s rule number three:

Three: Remember once again the day you want …

… a joined day, a day in communion where every event and experience of the day is viewed through a Partnership – a Partnership in which you insist upon deferring to the Partner and letting yourself be lovingly and safely and wonderfully Guided through the day while you get the hang of Being without being an authority. You see?

Again, the beginning of Rule number three:

Three: Remember once again the day you want, and recognize that something has occurred which is not part of it. Then realize that you have asked a question by yourself, and must have set an answer in your terms.

So what do you do?

Then say,

“I HAVE no question. I forgot what to decide.”

You see, when you’re not joined, when you’re not in communion, you don’t ask questions, you just assert answers. So when you find yourself uncomfortable because you’re not joined, you must realize that in your independent state,

“I HAVE no question. I forgot what to decide.”

“I forgot what kind of day I wanted … a joined day, a day in communion.”

This cancels out the terms which you have set, [and by which you have made yourself miserable] and lets the ANSWER show you what the question must have really been.

You see?

Try to observe this rule without delay, despite your opposition. For you have ALREADY gotten angry, and your fear of being answered in a different way from what your version of the questions asks will gain momentum, until you believe the day you want is one in which you get YOUR answer to YOUR question.

You see? And when you’re in this state of mind, you’re angry, you’re assertive, you’re overbearing, you’re thoughtless, you’re insensitive and uninvolved.

And you will not get it…

You will not get your answer to your question.

And you will not get it, for it would destroy the day by robbing you of what you REALLY want.

It will rob you of the joined day in communion and the blessing of having a real experience of your right Mind and the Kingdom of Heaven.

This can be very hard to realize…

… of course, because you’re angry and because your insistent on getting your way.

This can be very hard to realize, when once you have decided by yourself the rules which promise you a happy day.

And every single one of you are well experienced in setting the rules, which you believe will promise you a happy day.

Yet this decision still can be undone, by simple methods which you can accept.

It’s very important to understand that each of these rules are very simple … very simple … easy to engage … easy to grasp even when you’re in a fit – an ego tantrum. And so …

… this decision still can be undone, by simple methods which you can accept.

And we have rule number four:

Four: If you are so unwilling to receive you cannot even let your question go…

… oh, your beloved question that you’ve created that assures you of an answer that you want, whether it’s right or not.

If you are so unwilling to receive you cannot even let your question go, you can begin to change your mind with this:

“At least I can decide I do not LIKE what I feel now.”

Mind you, you’re very familiar with what you’re feeling at that moment. You’re very familiar with being upset because your will is being thwarted. You’re very familiar with that and it doesn’t naturally occur to you to think that there may be another way of perceiving, that you can change your mind or cancel out that action. But this rule number four, that you can change your mind with this:

“At least I can decide I do not LIKE what I feel now.”

Is the means of being able to reasonably consider changing your mind. And that’s what helps release you.

This much is obvious…

… that you do not like what you feel now …

… and paves the way for the next easy step.

Rule number five:

Five: Having decided that you do not like the way you feel, what could be easier than to continue with,

“And so I HOPE I have been wrong.”

Now, the fact is that it’s an easy step, but it’s not always easy to embrace it in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, you are consciously engaged in wanting to Wake up – experience the Atonement. You’re not studying the Course for nothing. You’re not listening to my words for no reason.

And so, when you’re in this fit of anger, where self-assertion and the making of your own decisions seem to be in perfect order, you do have a means of breaking out of that pattern … of abandoning that habit.

And so you continue with:

“And so I HOPE I have been wrong.”

There is a way for you to actually feel the hope that you’ve been wrong, even if it’s not fully felt.

This works against the sense of opposition, and reminds you that help is not being thrust upon you, but is something that you want and that you need, because you do not like the way you feel. This tiny opening will be enough to let you go ahead with just a few more steps you need to let yourself be helped.

Now you have reached the turning-point…

… when you can find yourself in the place where you say and feel and mean:

… “I HOPE I have been wrong.”

You’ve reached the turning-point. You’re no longer caught by a commitment to a habit … a habit of self-righteousness.

Now you have reached the turning-point, because it has occurred to you that YOU will gain if what you have decided is not so.

Now, that’s a learning. To realize that you will gain in the understanding that what you have decided is not so, that is something acquired through practice. And every time you actually let go of what you have decided, and you find yourself hearing your companion – your companion’s advice and guidance – and experience the benefit of it, it makes it easier and easier with each successive try.

Until this point is reached, you will believe your happiness depends on being RIGHT.

And that’s where anger and self-righteousness and attack come into play, as you substantiate your puny little self and try to make it valid, forgetting that if you will abandon that and move into your peace and enquire to know what the truth really is, you will be blessed and not cursed.

Until this point is reached, you will believe your happiness depends on being RIGHT. But this much reason have you now attained; you would be better off if you were WRONG.

Now again, I want to remind you to come to this section in the Book when you find yourself upset, and read, because as you read you’re going to find the specific point you’re at spelled out for you, together with the rule that will release you. It’s important.

Rule number six:

Six: This tiny gain of wisdom will suffice to take you further. You are not coerced, but merely hope to get a thing you want. [And thus] And you can say in perfect honesty,

“I WANT another way to look at this.”

There’s where you open the door. There’s where you release yourself. This is the place in the two-step or the practice of the holy instant where you open your door and let the Holy Spirit or the Father in and experience yourself in your right Mind, even though it seems at the moment to be coming from elsewhere.

“I WANT another way to look at this.”

Now you have changed your mind about the day, and have remembered what you REALLY want. Its purpose has no longer been obscured by the insane belief you want it for the goal of being right when you are wrong.

And the interesting thing is that you will be able to see that your goal of being right was entertained when you were wrong. You will be objective enough to be able to recognize that what you’re doing won’t work, because when you thought what was right is actually wrong, it’s something you don’t want to have anything to do with and you abandon it easily.

Thus is the readiness for asking brought to your awareness, for you cannot be in conflict when you ask for what you want, and see that it IS this for which you ask.

What is it you want? You want the result of being joined, of being in communion throughout your day asking and inviting for your Guide’s Perspective to be shared with you so that you can see the day as it truly is, rather than the way you believe it is or expect it to be, based upon your decisions.

Seven: This final step …

“I want another way to look at this.”

… is but acknowledgment of lack of opposition to be helped. It is a statement of an open mind, not certain yet, but willing to be shown:

“Perhaps there IS another way to look at this. What can I LOSE by asking?”

You see? The steps have brought you back to the initial starting point of the holy instant where you practice the two-step, where you shut up and you enquire:

“Perhaps there IS another way to look at this. What can I LOSE by asking?”

Thus you now can ask a question that makes sense, and so the answer will make sense as well. Nor will you fight against it, for you see that it is YOU who will be helped by it.

It must be clear that it is easier to have a happy day if you prevent unhappiness from entering at all. But this takes practice in the rules which will protect you from the ravages of fear. When this has been achieved, the sorry dream of judgment has forever been undone. But meanwhile, you have need for practicing the rules for its undoing.

As you found out especially in the last couple of weeks, the inertia of thinking blocks you and keeps you from the results you want – healing, harmony, a clear sense of yourself as the holy Son or Daughter of God.

[So] meanwhile, you have need for practicing the rules for its undoing. Let us, then, consider once again the very first of the decisions which are offered here.

We said you can begin a happy day with the determination not to make decisions by yourself. This seems to be a real decision in itself. And yet…

… listen to this …

… you CANNOT make decisions by yourself. The only question really is with WHAT you choose to make them. That is really all.

See, when you Wake up and you decide which Guide you are wanting to companion with through the day, you are making a decision. But you can’t make a decision all by yourself. So that decision will be made with either with the Holy Spirit or the voice for fear. Let’s continue:

The only question really is with WHAT you choose to make them. That is really all. The first rule, then, is not coercion, but a simple statement of a simple fact. You will not make decisions by yourself WHATEVER you decide. For they are made with idols or with God. And you ask help of Christ or anti-Christ, and which you choose will join with you, and tell you what to do.

Your day is not at random. It is set by what you choose to live it with, and how the friend whose counsel you have sought perceives your happiness. You always ask advice before you can decide on anything. Let THIS be understood, and you can see there cannot be coercion here, nor grounds for opposition that you may be free. There IS no freedom from what must occur. And if you think there is, you must be wrong.

You don’t have freedom to make decisions by yourself, although you may have thought you have made decisions by yourself. You haven’t! But now that you know that you can listen for the Voice for Truth and now that you’ve experienced hearing the Voice for Truth, it becomes easier for you to recognize when you are hearing another voice and you’re able to glean from the learning that it’s not your voice. Now:

The second rule as well is but a fact.

Rule number two:

“If I make no decision by myself, This is the kind of day that will be GIVEN me.”

The second rule as well is but a fact. For you and your advisor must agree on what you want before it can occur. It is but this AGREEMENT which permits all things to happen.

You see? You’ve never been isolated, you’ve never been alone. When you have listened to the voice for fear you have been listening to an illusion, and to that extent you are not connected to anything actual. But when you listen to the Voice for Truth or the Holy Spirit, you are in agreement with Something that is actual. And that’s why it can supercede and over-throw the idols, the anti-Christ.

Nothing can be caused without some form of union, be it with a dream of judgment or the Voice for God. Decisions cause results BECAUSE they are not made in isolation. They are made by you and your advisor, for yourself, and for the world as well.

You see the unity of it? You see the integrity of the union of you and your Advisor, of you and the Holy Spirit, of you and that which is nothing more than your right Mind.

The day you want you offer to the world, for it will be what you have asked for, and will reinforce the rules of your advisor in the world.

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”2

Whose kingdom is the world for you today?

The Kingdom of the Voice for Truth or the kingdom of the voice for fear?

What kind of day will you decide to have?

And I will add: Even if you have to decide for it over and over and over and over all day long.

What kind of day will you decide to have?

It needs but two who would have happiness this day to promise it to all the world. It needs but two to understand that they cannot decide alone, to guarantee the joy they asked for will be wholly shared. For they have understood the basic law that makes decision powerful, and gives it all effects that it will ever have. It needs but two. These two are joined before there CAN be a decision. Let this be the one reminder that you keep in mind, and you will have the day you want, and give it to the world by having it yourself. Your judgment has been lifted from the world by your decision for a happy day. And as you have received, so must you give.

Again:

Your judgment has been lifted from the world by your decision for a happy day.

And what constitutes your decision for a happy day? The decision to make no decisions by yourself, but only in communion with the Voice for Truth, which is your choice for your companion, a choice that you need to practice making over and over and over again, until it becomes a habit, and blesses you by your return of sanity, as the holy Son and holy Daughter of God.

Now, I don’t usually read so much in one get together, but this needed to be expressed in its wholeness because it’s the answer to any problems you encountered as a result of attempting to put into practice what we talked about last week, and overcome inertia.

I invite you to read this section over many times this coming week and let it re-assure you and let it prompt you to get back on the beam and let it provide the simple means for doing it. That is what it is here for.

I love you very much. And I look forward to being with you next time.

  1. T30.1 Rules for Decision ↩︎

  2. Mathew 6:10 ↩︎

Bookmarks