Nov 1, 2015
T20.3 Sin as an Adjustment
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
Tonight we’re going to talk about a number of things but all of them will center around communication.
I said I wasn’t going to read from the book—from the Course—tonight, but I do want to read the very last thing we read and it says this:
There is no fear in perfect love BECAUSE it knows no sin, and it must look on others as on itself. Looking with charity within, what can it fear WITHOUT? The innocent see safety, and the pure in heart see God within His Son, and look unto the Son to lead them to the Father.1
Meaning, they look unto their brothers and sisters to lead them to the Father.
And where else would they go but where they will to be? Each of you now will lead the other to the Father as surely as God created His Son holy, and kept him so. In your brother is the light of God’s eternal promise of your immortality. See HIM as sinless, and there can BE no fear in you.
And what comes next is a new section entitled:
Entering the Ark.
And we’re not going to go into that section. But entering the Ark is done two by two. It isn’t one alone, independent, by himself or herself.
And so you can see the significance of being a brother or sister, of having a brother or sister, of having someone to look at with the desire to see God there. That’s the way you enter the Ark. That’s the way Awakening begins. And that’s why the holy instant is so very important.
The whole purpose of the holy instant is to silence the intellectual imaginative thinking that you engage in, so that in the Silence you may enquire to know the Truth about your brother—about everything. But it is the joining with your brother in a holy relationship that initiates the Movement of Awakening.
That’s how important it is.
And you know what? As I said before recently, that means involvement with your brother or sister. It involves intimacy with your brother or sister—with your brothers and sisters—because you don’t have to have a holy relationship with just one other brother or sister and use that single relationship as the means of Awakening.
Every encounter you have with one another is an opportunity to be from the holy instant with the desire to see God there in the brother or sister you’re with for the next two or three minutes, until you have to go get in the car and go somewhere else. You see?
The call is for a constant desire for intimacy with what is True about everyone.
Now, I have said before: As I have loved you, love one another.2 Why? Because that’s the way Home. But at the same time, you could say that’s where the work is, because it confronts you with whatever reluctances you have to engage with a brother or sister, and you have to engage with whatever reluctances your brother or sister has, to engage with you.
Now, here’s something important for you to understand: No one I speak to, whether it is in this manner through Paul or whether it is directly with each one of you, I am speaking to one who doesn’t agree with me, I am speaking to someone who doesn’t understand what I have to say, I am speaking to someone who needs another to confront and enrich the current lack of understanding that is keeping him or her in bondage.
It’s important to know this, because very often on the spiritual path one wants to gather around himself or herself others of like mind, so that there aren’t challenges, there aren’t arguments, and everything is peaceful and “hunky-dory.” But that’s not where living spirituality occurs. And that can become a way of not growing—a way of staying safe because there are no challenges.
This is not the way it works. And this is not where you’re needed.
Now, it’s also important to understand that you aren’t to be there because the other one needs you. You are there with the other one because you need what the encounter brings forth in you and causes you to learn right along with your brother or sister. And if you are managing to be with a group that doesn’t challenge anything, no learning will occur. You will be in a peaceful bliss that is meaningless because it does not promote Awakening! Do you see?
How do you be with a brother or a sister who doesn’t agree with you, who doesn’t have the perspective that you enjoy, and perhaps even challenges you or challenges the ideas? How do you deal with them? With persistence. With humility. With a desire for intimacy. With the intent to finally be able to call “enemy” friend? But this means getting involved. And it means not being so arrogant as to think that you should not have to cope with the dynamics of what, at the bottom line, turns out to be learning … and what, at the bottom line, turns out to be your learning, together with your brothers or your sisters. Because what you give, you get to keep.
Now, there’s an inane saying floating around. Sort of like a mind-blowing koan that seems to have significance, but which nevertheless is inane. And it goes this way: “I am responsible for what I say. I am not responsible for what you understand.” On the surface that sounds very interesting, almost enlightening.
But let me ask you something: “What is language for?” Language is for breaking isolation, allowing communication to occur—communication of meaning. And indeed, at all times, language is used to cause something to happen. And it can only cause one of two things: One is, union—brotherhood, undefended intimacy. And the other is, the opposite.
If you’re not speaking to be understood, then why are you speaking? And who, if not you, is responsible for speaking in a way that can be understood?
It’s very important not to become metaphysically or spiritually ungrounded, so that you might think there is meaning in the saying: “I am responsible for what I say. And I am not responsible for what you understand.”
You know what? You’re incapable of understanding what I’m here to teach because you’re dreaming dreams and you’re not in your right Mind at the moment. But that is not justification for me not to speak with you … not to communicate with you. And it is not justification for me not to find a way to speak to you in a form that you can understand and that will trigger your release. And in order for that to happen, you and I have to become intimate with each other and it has to occur in a context of my caring for you.
Now, you may disagree. You may vehemently argue with what I share with you. But that simply calls for me to settle in a little further with you … to become a little more intimate with you … to be more present with you, and, I’m going to say, be present with why you’re seeing things the way you are, so that we might walk out of the way you’re seeing things, hand in hand, friend with friend.
It’s very important not to use language to increase separation, especially if you intend to Wake up, especially if everything you find of value in the Course means something to you that is worthy of your changing whatever needs to be changed.
And the way you find out what needs to be changed is when you turn your attention to your brother. And I will tell you something: No matter how obtuse either one of you can be with each other, no matter how long you might agree to not have anything to do with each other, the only thing that will lead to Awakening is the choice to practice the holy instant for the purpose of seeing God right there where your brother is … or your sister. Sooner or later that is the step that will have to be taken. It’s the only way Home … it is the only way Home.
At times this will seem to you to be laborious, hard work, but only because of your resistance—the resistance you are bringing to the act of looking at your brother with a desire to see God there. And doing that in the holy instant, where you are being silent enough to be infilled with the truth, with the love that can find expression that changes the dynamics of enemies to friends.
I promise you an enemy will not become your friend if you are treating him as an enemy … if you are holding him to be nothing less than an enemy … nothing more than an enemy. There’s no intimacy there, there’s no caring, there is not the presence of love that melts the hardened heart.
Right now my communication of Meaning is being expressed in English, which makes it easier for you to understand me than if I were speaking Czechoslovakian. You see? I’m responsible for choosing language that you can understand and not to use language you can’t. Why? Because the reason I am speaking is to communicate Meaning, to communicate Love, to communicate that which heals, to communicate what a friend is like. You see?
This is so fundamental, so basic. It’s also so genuine. What you’re called upon to do and be is genuineness, defenseless caring, embracing defenselessness. Don’t blow off a brother or a sister because they don’t speak the same language or use the same concepts that you do at the moment. I can’t do that. I wouldn’t do that. And you don’t dare to do that if entering the Ark is something that is done two-by-two … if Waking up is dependent upon Brotherhood. You see?
Love is the Royal way. Caring is the Royal way. Daring to be unafraid of your brother or sister, no matter what their behavior is, because you’re choosing to be in the holy instant where God’s Laws prevail, and listening as to how to be from there, you will be transformational, and your brother or sister will sooner or later see it and give the Gift back, confirming, we’ll say, the readiness to enter the Ark … the movement into a new way of being, one that is a closer approximation, ever increasing, of experiencing Reality without denying It, without resisting It in any way.
Do our words invite intimacy or the opposite? It’s time to take a look at that and choose again.
There is a different way to look at enemy than the way you are looking when you see an enemy. But you’re not going to be able to figure it out by yourself. The only way out of the mess is through the holy instant … not turning to your best judgments, not turning to your experience, not turning to the history of so-and-so that you’re confronted with, but turning to the Holy Spirit, wanting to know the uniting Truth—the Truth that allows more intimacy, more caring and more defenselessness. That’s the bottom line choice.
Be ready to grow. Be ready to learn. Be ready to live on the fly, without preparation, without the task secured ahead of time, where platitudes no longer work, agreed upon theories are abandoned, because instead of them you want to touch your brother and you want to be touched by your brother in friendship, in the communion that arises out of communication.
As I have loved you, love one another … and do it … and do it … and do it … and do it. Why? because it’s the uncovering and reestablishment of your holiness and your divinity as your brother’s holiness and divinity is uncovered because you cared enough to let your brother be your Savior, when initially you perceived him as, and indeed, he may have been purposely behaving as enemy.
The time of a “tooth-for-a-tooth,”3 and an “eye-for-an-eye,” a dig-for-a-dig, a criticism-for-a-criticism … that time is gone!
The call for correction is a call for a shift of perception and the shift of perception is promoted by the good use of language where you take responsibility for what your brother is hearing and persist in that until what your brother understands is what you mean.
I love you all. This is a simple lesson, a profound lesson, a practical learning device. Don’t overlook it, for the so-called safety of uninvolvement, of distancing yourself from each other.
And I look forward to being with you next time.