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30.1 How is being present different than being? Are they not the same thing? Should they not be? And yet how seldom are you fully present for your own life, your own Self, your own being. If you were fully aware of your own being, you would be in oneness with Your Father.
30.2 How can one be distracted from oneself? And yet you are. Many go through life searching for self-definition, self-actualization. Where are they as they search? Where is their being? If reaching a particular destination is all that is sought, the journey becomes but the means for getting there. All learning is seen as preparation for the future, or for some eventual outcome, rather than for your being. You attempt to learn for something other than your Self, for some purpose other than your Self. Thus was service given another route for being separated from the Self and your function here. When you learn in order to contribute something to your work and your world, you bypass your Self.
30.3 Your learning must take on a new focus. Be like the little children, and inhale the world around you in order to make it part of your Self. Be like the little children, and learn in order to claim your learning for your Self. Learn who you are through each experience rather than learning in order to find out who you are or what your contribution will eventually be.
30.4 Being in relationship is being present. Being present has nothing to do with time as you think of it. You think of this instruction to be present as an instruction that relates to time. You think of present time, past time, future time. We have spoken of these modes of keeping time as well, but as the word keeping illustrates, there is nothing about time that can be kept. The only thing real about time is its eternal nature.
30.5 You are headed toward what might be called universal consciousness, though you will not know it when it is at first achieved. For universal consciousness is knowing Self, while you think it is knowing all. Knowing Self is knowing all, but this you do not as yet understand.
30.6 Universal consciousness is being in relationship. It is the true Self, the known Self, in all its glorious relationship with life. All matter is born and dies. All life is forever. The known Self realizes this and begins to act in accordance with this knowing.
30.7 This world as you perceive of it is built around the foundation of fear, a fear that stemmed from the belief in finite life, in being born into a body and dying to the body. The person who knows, truly knows, the simplest truth of the identity of the Self no longer lives in a dualistic position with God, but in a monistic state with Him. The difference is in realizing relationship with the infinite instead of the finite, with life as opposed to matter.
30.8 This huge difference is easily overlooked and rarely seen as the key that unlocks the door to universal consciousness, being present. There is no being and no present in matter. In matter, being must be attached to form. In the sense of time described by the word present, there is no infinitude, but only a vague concept of now. This is the key concept that I not only knew but demonstrated. This is the legacy, the inheritance, I left to you.
30.9 This discourse may seem to have traveled far from words of love, words promised and words given in truth. For no love is finite in nature. Love has no beginning and no end. Love is a demonstration and a description of universal consciousness, of being in relationship.
30.10 All relationship is relationship with God Who Is Love.
30.11 What the Course is speaking of now, in essence, is gain without loss. You will never be aware of gain without loss while you believe in what is finite in nature. The cycle of giving and receiving is thus never complete, and the certainty you seek always waiting for something you do not yet have—some information, some guarantee, some proof or validation. You might think if you are “right” you will be successful, if you are “successful” you will be secure, if you are “good” you will prosper. You do not see these ways of thinking as ideas associated with gain and loss, but they are. All thinking that is of a “if this, then that” nature is thinking in terms of gain and loss. This is why we have worked to leave thinking behind. This belief in gain and loss is a cornerstone of your system of perception viewed from a stance of “if this, then that.” It rules the nature of your existence because you have made it ruler by abandoning the laws of God.
30.12 The laws of God are laws of Love. Within the laws of love there is no loss, but only gain.
30.13 The source of love and its location is your own heart. Think now of the created form, the body. When the heart stops beating, life is seen to be over. Are you thus your heart? Or can you not see that the created form was made in God’s own image, as was all creation. You are God’s image given form, as is all creation. We, all of us together, are the heartbeat of the world. Without unity we would not be. Without our Source, which is God, we would not be.
30.14 The laws of unity are God’s laws and are simple indeed: giving and receiving are one. And thus giving and receiving as one is the only way in which God’s laws are fulfilled. Since God’s laws are the laws that rule the universe, they cannot go unfulfilled. Giving and receiving are thus one in truth. God’s laws are generalizable and do not change, and thus the laws of man have not usurped the laws of God. It is only in your perception that the laws of man take precedence over the laws of God. Since perception arises from the mind, we must now discuss the mind.
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