May 9, 2015
T19.7 Pleasure and Pain
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
We are currently reading about the Obstacles to Peace. And so it’s well to keep in mind that peace is the focus. Peace is the subject. And we are addressing the things that are obstacles to it.
As you read and hear discussion about the body, and this and that and the other thing, it’s possible to become preoccupied with those subjects and forget that we’re talking about them in the context of abandoning them because peace is where the attention needs to be.
Peace, you could say, is the road Home.
Now, right now, we’re discussing the second Obstacle to Peace, which is, The Belief the Body is Valuable for What it Offers.
Now it’s very important to realize that it does not say that the second obstacle to peace is the body. No. It says, “the belief the body is valuable for what it offers.” You will not find me letting up on this topic. I will not let the belief continue that says that the body is not real.
You know what? Let’s get real simple here. And the simplest way to look at this as the starting point is, that the body can be used for two purposes: It can either be used for defense or embrace. If it is used for defense, it is being used by a mentality that has separated itself from its Infinite Source and is no longer conscious of its holiness—it’s divinity.
And so life is a struggle and the best way to meet those struggles is through the use of a body. And so the body becomes a defense mechanism—a way to secure some modicum of peace, a way to secure a certain sense of safety, a way to somehow manage to demonstrate self-responsibility that will earn respect and so on.
Mind you, all of these uses that the body is put to are forms of defense and they keep you from accessing your peace. They keep you off of the road Home. It’s important to remember.
Now, you can say that the body can be used for embrace as a means of defense—as a means of control. And indeed it can, but that’s not what I’m speaking of. The body can be used for defense by a misguided mind or it can be used for embrace by that mind which has abandoned its independence, joined with the Father, asked of the Holy Spirit or me, what is the truth here? And then in harmony with the response given, the body is used to embrace, not for control, but as acknowledgement of the holiness of the one being embraced.
And this heals. This is the proper purposeful use of the body.
Now continuing from where we left off last week. It says:
Why should the body be anything to you?1
Now I could have read it, [soberly] “why should the body be anything to you?” But it’s very easy to read it in a flippant way, “why should the body be anything to you?” And it’s important for the answer not to be a flippant answer like, “well nothing! It isn’t supposed to mean anything to you because it’s an illusion!” Now that’s a flippant answer.
Why should the body be anything to you?
Because it’s the visibility and tangibility of your divine individuality and there is absolutely nothing material about it. Everything about it is Spirit. Its substance is Spirit. Its nature is Love. Its action is Life. And it’s none of these in contrast to an opposite.
Why should the body be anything to you?
Because it is the Movement of God expressed … identifiable, experience-able. But as a means of control and force, and somehow succeeding at being an independent entity, it should mean nothing to you. And it doesn’t have those meanings when you have chosen for your peace.
Certainly what it is made of …
… the body …
… is not precious.
Well, certainly it isn’t if you are an independent thinker providing the definitions of everything. That’s not the way you or anyone else is defining it. But the visibility and tangibility of your divine individuality—the substance of it is precious because it is the divine Presence of God expressing the Father’s Will, now … now … now … now … brand new … now … now …
… the body …
… transmits to you the feelings that you WANT.
Well, this is true. And what is the “you” that we’re referring to? Well, if it’s the independent you—the arrogant, self-willed determiner of everything on your terms, then it transmits to you the feelings that you in that frame of mind, want. It will transmit to you the need for defense and it will transmit to you that you can use it successfully for defense. You see?
But if you have chosen for your peace, if you have abandoned your independence and joined with the Holy Spirit, it will transmit to you the Meanings which we will call, “feelings” that the Holy Spirit reveals to you about the truth of everything you’re experiencing. You see?
Like any communication medium, the body receives and sends the messages that it is given.
Independent willful messages, send and receive, the same. Joined messages couched in, submerged in Love and Truth and Principle, will return those. It’s simple.
It has no feeling for them.
What? The body. No. Of itself, it is nothing. Because it doesn’t exist of itself except in the imagination of some distressed Sons and Daughters of God.
All of the feeling with which they are invested is given by the sender and the receiver.
Well, if the sender is an independent distressed mentality, that mentality is also going to be the receiver. What is given, gets to be kept. You see?
But when they are invested with clarity, groundedness, invulnerability, Truth, then that is what is received. So the question is, where are the messages being sent from? An independent ego or a holy Son or Daughter of God who is happy, willing to have his mind filled with the Truth, by That which Knows the Truth and shares It? It’s that simple.
The ego and the Holy Spirit both recognize this…
… both recognize what? . .
… that the sender and receiver are [one in] the SAME.
[repeats] The ego and the Holy Spirit both recognize this, and both also recognize that here the sender and receiver are the SAME. The Holy Spirit tells you this with joy.
The Holy Spirit reveals to you the Truth and when you receive it and are infilled with it, it is an experience of joy.
Now, as I keep saying over and over, “the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind.” So when the Holy Spirit is turned to while you still feel independent, and you truly, genuinely humbly ask, “What is the truth?” and it is revealed to you, something else is revealed to you: That the Holy Spirit is your Mind—is You. And so the sender of the message is the Holy Spirit and the receiver of the message is the You that is not separated from the Holy Spirit any longer. The sender and the receiver are One. And You are that One.
It is really important to let this idea quietly rest in your awareness, so that, as I’ve said before, it becomes less strange, more familiar, causing you to relax and be willing to more easily reach out in the holy instant to ask, “What is the truth here?”
Who would send messages of hatred and attack if he but understood he sends them to HIMSELF?
Who would accuse, make guilty, and condemn himself? True. And that’s the trickery of the way the ego works. It doesn’t tell you that you are misusing your mind by engaging in anger or jealousy or hatred or the call for justice. It doesn’t tell you that in this misuse of your mind, you are debilitating yourself and removing yourself further from the ease of Waking up—from the uninhibited willingness to ask for help and to reach outside of your current tiny mindset. No, it doesn’t tell you that.
And so, you think that your anger is at someone else and you express it towards them either out loud or silently in your mind. This is what has to be recognized. When you are engaging in hate, jealousy, fear—any of these things, which motivate you to take action to get justice or to cause hurt in another so as to change their behavior so that it doesn’t hurt you in the way that you’ve been imagining your being hurt—when you recognize that, you can STOP! … because there is perspective and clarity present that tells you the only one you’re hurting is yourself.
If you’re experiencing illness or dire circumstances in your life, you may know that these are the evidences of the misuse of your mind which debilitates your capacity to experience what? PEACE, which is the road Home.
The ego’s messages are always sent AWAY from you…
… you know, your anger is always directed at someone else, and you know what? Even though you can tell me that many times your anger is directed at yourself, if you’re honest about it, you will realize that you are being hard on yourself so that pity can be extracted from others. It is still a means of a practicing manipulation and control over what? Not yourself!
Those out there.
So, this kind of direct, honest, self-clarity is very important. The ego tells you that if you will look at it that way you will be proving to yourself that you are guilty. But the fact is, that it doesn’t automatically arouse guilt. What it automatically does without the help of your ego, is provide you with a clarity of mind which allows you to choose differently and make the new choice not to escape from a penalty due you because you were guilty, but [which] allows you to become free of the problem because you were simply mistaken in your perception, in your belief and in your commitment to your belief.
Really, really important!
The ego’s messages are always sent AWAY from you, in the …
… what? …
… belief that for your message of attack and guilt will someone other than yourself suffer. And even if you suffer, yet someone else will suffer more.
The great deceiver …
… the ego—which really means the mentality which has chosen to try to be independent of its Source.
The great deceiver recognizes that this is not so, but as the “enemy” of peace, it urges you to send out all your messages of hate and free YOURSELF …
… you know, [chuckling] be rid of them! Dump it! Dump it out there on him, on her, on this country, on that country. You see? And that is going to relieve you. Man-o-man, you have kept that bottled up for so long. Dump it! Dump it! Get rid of it!
Dump it out there on him or her and then try to convince him or her that they really are responsible for your distress, not you engaged in a misuse of your mind that is keeping you from consciously choosing for your peace and, we’ll say, changing horses in midstream, jumping the track from finiteness to infinity.
And to convince you this is possible, it …
… the ego …
… bids the body search for pain in attack upon another…
… make them suffer! Only then will you have justice. Only then will you feel good … and, in fact, right now while you’re extracting justice and creating pain this is pleasurable. In fact, it continues here:
… calling it pleasure and offering it to you as freedom FROM attack.
Or as part of that is, “Get him before he gets you!” That makes you free of attack from him. But it’s all part of the complex mishmash of ignorance that arises out of the fact that initially you have abandoned your peace. And the answer isn’t in the complexities of the details of the problem. The answer lies in the making of a new choice for your peace. And that’s the whole point of this part of the Course.
Hear not its madness…
… the ego’s madness. Hear not the madness of a frame of mind that’s distorted because it’s constantly having to defy the Father’s Perspective That is instilled in him in order to have the “luxury,” we’ll say, of an independent novel experience. And the stress of it hurts. The stress of it cannot be escaped until the attempt to be independent stops.
Hear not its madness, and believe not the impossible is true. Forget not that the ego …
… again, this distressed frame of mind …
… has dedicated the body to the goal of sin…
Ooh … it has dedicated the body to the goal of sin! Well, to the goal of missing the mark it has dedicated the body to be used as a defense mechanism, as a place of physical force which can coerce and alter human experience, while keeping that one’s holiness outside of his range of awareness. The denial of one’s Source causes one to miss the mark, to do what doesn’t work and persist in it with commitment. That is the meaning of sin.
And so, the ego has dedicated the body to the goal of successfully keeping you unconscious of your holiness …
… and places in it all its faith that this can be accomplished.
And man, oh man! Everyone with great commitment continues to go through each day seeing themselves as a body—whether it’s real or not in their assessment—and attempting to overcome the incessant distractions. And it does it with commitment because it really believes that solution lies there.
All that I’m saying is, that everyone has forgotten their holiness. Everyone has forgotten who their Father is, and that there is no such thing as private independence. Being is, you might say, a “joint venture”—you acknowledging your Father. You participating with your Father in the Movement of Creation by acknowledging Him in It and experiencing Him in It. This is the simple shift that will precipitate Awakening.
Its sad disciples …
… the ego’s …
… sad disciples chant the body’s praise continually, in solemn celebration of the ego’s rule. Not one but must believe that yielding to the attraction of guilt is the ESCAPE from pain.
Which is what we’ve just been talking about.
Not one but must regard the body …
… what? …
… as himself, without which he would die, and yet within which is his death equally inevitable.
This is the big problem. It’s the hooker. When the choice for independence from the Father was made, one found himself preoccupied with the visibility and tangibility of his individuality because it couldn’t go anywhere, having been created by the Father … and is continuing to be created by the Father.
The preoccupation with the body as something other than the declaration of the Son of God’s holiness, causes it to become a means of defense which must be brought into play because, as you know, divorced from the Father, fear and guilt automatically came in like gangbusters, full force, to be coped with.
It is not given to the ego’s disciples …
… to those who believe their very own distorted perceptions.
It is not given to the ego’s disciples to realize that they have dedicated THEMSELVES to death.
Wow, heavy duty! Well, death isn’t the only thing that they’ve dedicated themselves to, they’ve dedicated themselves to sin and sickness. They’ve dedicated themselves to be unconscious of the Truth.
And so you see—if you look at history—the constant carrying out of birth, sin, sickness and death, with only a few variations where ascension or translation occurred. And everyone believes the history. Everyone awaits death. “Oh, it’s inevitable!” And you know what? This mindset, that death is inevitable gets carried along with each of you as you move into a new realm, we’ll say, of understanding.
And so you have here A Course in Miracles, which does not support that belief, but because you “know” that death is inevitable you are reading it into what the Course is saying. And you do not hesitate to embrace the idea that the body is an illusion and that therefore you will drop it. You missed the point that what you drop is the misperception of the visibility and tangibility of your divine individuality which is not material and is not subject to sin, disease and death. You see?
And that is why I’m harping on it, because we’re having to break the habit of thought so that you can embrace, for lack of better words, a new expectation. Again:
It is not given to the ego’s disciples to realize that they have dedicated THEMSELVES to death. Freedom is offered them…
I’m offering it. The Holy Spirit offers it. The Father offers it. It is constantly insinuated into your awareness in one way or another. But for the most part it is overridden because you “know” how things really work. And that’s where your faith and commitment lie. Again:
It is not given to the ego’s disciples to realize that they have dedicated THEMSELVES to death. Freedom is offered them, but they have not accepted it, and what is offered must also be received, to be truly given.
One always accompanies the other in order for it to be actual—in order for it to be actualized.
For the Holy Spirit, too, is a communication medium, receiving from the Father and offering His messages unto the Son.
You, you holy Sons and Daughters of God.
Now, think about this: if indeed the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind, then when you abandon completely your independence and the Holy Spirit, we’ll say, is rejoined with you or you are rejoined with It without any sense of separation, then you will be the …
… communication medium, receiving from the Father and offering His messages unto the Son.
In other words, embracing them, incorporating them, not denying them.
Like the ego, the Holy Spirit is both the sender and the receiver.
It’s the singularity. And this is what you bring into your experience every time you practice the holy instant, every time you engage in the two-step, humbly, genuinely.
For what is sent through Him RETURNS to Him…
… what is sent through you returns to you …
… seeking itself along the way, and finding what it seeks. So does the ego find the death IT seeks, returning it to YOU.
That’s the way it seems to work until peace is more important to you, until your willingness to embrace yourself as the holy Son or Daughter of God is embraced by you.
The second Obstacle To Peace: The Belief the Body is Valuable for What it Offers is really an easy thing to abandon, once you begin to see it. You can see it leads nowhere. And what you’re experiencing is a distortion and not real and that the choice for peace—the abandonment of the belief that the body is valuable for what it offers—is the answer and it is an answer that is available to you now … now … now.
Your peace is ever present. It is the very underlying nature of your Being. It is and always has been ever present. It is available to you because it is functioning in you, as you at this moment. And so, the little willingness that the Course speaks about is really all it takes. Dare to be adventurous, let’s say, and abandon defense. Not stupidly: Abandon defense by making a different choice, turning to the Holy Spirit in the holy instant desiring to know what the truth is here, and then listening for the inevitable Answer.
I will tell you, you will be able to tell how genuine your desire is when you discover how quickly you’re willing to abandon the listening.
You may not be familiar with being in this way, but the only way you will become familiar with it—at ease with it—will be through persistence.
Now, be with this. Let it sink in. Be attentive to these ideas and let new perspective in—new perspective from That which is nothing more than your right Mind—the Holy Spirit. Then you’ll be ready to deal with the next obstacle which we will discuss next time.
I love you very much.
T19.7 Pleasure and Pain ↩︎