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9.1 Freedom from want, freedom from lack, freedom from repression, are what we will now enjoy together on our mountain top retreat. We have not removed ourselves from life in any way, and yet we have reached a place of retreat, a place of safety and of rest, a place away from “normal” life and the lack of freedom you have experienced there. I am your refuge from the past, your gate of entry to the present. You have fled the foreign land, where freedom was merely an illusion, and arrived at the Promised Land, the land of our inheritance.
9.2 Allow yourself, now, to experience your arrival, your return to your true home, your return to your Self. Laugh. Cry. Shout or wail. Dance and sing. Spin a new web. The web of freedom.
9.3 In other words, express your Self!
9.4 You who do not feel confident in your feelings, who do not feel confident in your ability to respond, who do not as yet feel the freedom of the new, allow yourself now, to do so. Allow freedom to reign, for it is your allowance, your choice, your permission, that will make it so. The only one who can stop you now is yourself. The only permission you ever needed was your own.
9.5 We will practice here to build your confidence, a confidence sorely lacking. What confidence is it of which we speak? The confidence to be yourself. This confidence is what must precede true certainty in this time of elevation of the self of form. The certainty that arises from unity is different from this confidence in the self of form and they must be realized together for the elevation of the self of form to take place. What good will be the certainty of unity if the self of form has no confidence in its ability to express it? Expression of the certainty of unity is what the elevated Self of form is all about. Certainty of mind and heart has been realized by many. The expression of that certainty in form has not.
9.6 Freedom is nothing other than freedom of expression. No one can block the freedom of what your mind would think or heart would feel. But take away the ability to express what the mind would think or heart would feel, and freedom is no more. Yet it is not an outward source that you must fear or protect your freedom against. It is none other than yourself who has not allowed you the freedom of expression.
9.7 Realize now the truth of what you have just heard. While you know you have not allowed yourself freedom of expression, you believe you have allowed yourself freedom of thought. You believe you have allowed yourself freedom of feeling. And yet if the truth be admitted, you know that even this is not quite true. You know that you censor your own thoughts and feelings, accepting some and not others. You know you have repressed your emotions. You know you have lived in a state in which you believed yourself to be lacking. You know you have never known freedom from want.
9.8 Today, I would like you to know freedom.
9.9 Let’s begin this day with a consideration of the idea that you may have an inaccurate idea of an ideal self.
9.10 Where might your notion of what an ideal self is have come from? It may have come from your ideas of right and wrong, good and bad. It may have its source in your religious beliefs. It may have come from someone you have idolized, someone you believe to be the spiritual titan you still but hope to be. Your image of an ideal self may have sprung from your reading, from descriptions of those the world has come to see as enlightened ones. It may be linked to your ideas of being able to express wisdom or compassion. The image of the ideal self you hold in your mind, no matter what form it takes, is still an image, and must now be done without if you are going to realize freedom.
9.11 As was said earlier, all of your images are false images. Isn’t it possible that none are more false than this image of an ideal self? Not having false idols is an ancient commandment. An ideal image is an idol. It is symbolic rather than real. It has form only within your mind and has no substance. To work toward, or to have as a goal, the achievement of an ideal image is to have created a false god.
9.12 Realize now that your ideal image, no matter how it was formed, is a product of the time of learning. It became an image in your mind, and maybe even within your heart, through the process of learning. It arose from the learning of right from wrong, good from bad. It arose from the learning of moral and religious beliefs. It arose from comparison. It arose from seeking. It arose from your perception of lack.
9.13 This ideal image is intimately related with the time of learning in another way as well. It is the epitome of learning, what you have seen learning as being for. While other learning goals may have receded, this one seems a learning goal worthy of your effort. It seems to be a true goal amidst many illusory goals. Just as you may have believed that if you worked hard enough you would achieve a position of status within your profession or material wealth, you have believed that if you work hard enough you can maybe, someday, if you are blessed or lucky, achieve this ideal image.
9.14 But this ideal image is as much a product of illusion as have been all of your worldly goals.
9.15 As with most goals of the time of learning, it was an ego-centered goal, a carrot of fulfillment the ego but dangled before you in the place it called the future. As with all messages of the ego, it but says that who you are is not good enough.
9.16 The idea of your “potential” was a useful learning tool and one that served the purposes of the Holy Spirit as well as those of the ego. The idea of your “potential” and your ability to be “more” than what your limited view of yourself would have you be, was a necessary tool to call you to the learning that would return you to your true identity. But the time for such tools is over.
9.17 How will you ever realize, or make real, the Self you are when you strive to be something else? Just as “finding” brought “seeking” to an end, accomplishment brings striving to an end.
9.18 An idealized image, like a rule, is a mental construct. All mental constructs are predeterminations.
9.19 All ideas such as those of advancement or enlightenment are mental constructs. They are predeterminations.
9.20 While language cannot be completely stripped of usages such as these, and while some use of similar terms, like our use of the term elevated, are still necessary, it is only in your understanding that our use of these terms is not a cause for predetermination that we can proceed. For if you believe that we are proceeding to some predetermined ideal state, we will not succeed in the work we are doing here together. For if you believe this, you will not accept your Self as you are. If you do not accept your Self as you are, you will not move from image to presence. If you do not move from image to presence you will never realize your freedom. If you do not realize your freedom, you will not realize your power.
9.21 To represent an image is to become an image. To become an image, even an idealized image, is to still become a false idol or even what is referred to in more common usage as a spiritual leader or guru. True spiritual leaders or gurus have no need nor desire to be seen as such and are often made into images such as these only within the minds of those who would seek to follow their teachings. This desire of “followers” to accept an image is less prevalent now but still a common danger.
9.22 What an image does is separate. The holder of an image, precisely because he or she holds an image as a goal, holds him or herself separate. They realize not that they are the same as the one they idolize, but realize only that they are different. In “wanting” to be the same and not realizing sameness, they fail to celebrate their own difference and do not bring the gift of their sameness, or of their difference, to the world, but hold it in waiting for such a time as the ideal is reached.
9.23 You are the “same” or “as” accomplished as every enlightened one who has ever existed. Without realizing this, however, your unique expression of your accomplishment will not be realized.
9.24 Your freedom is contingent upon your ability to give up your images, particularly the image you hold of an ideal self. It is contingent upon your ability to accept that you are your ideal self. Yes, even right now, with all your seeming imperfections.
9.25 What are these imperfections but your “differences?” Have we not spoken of these differences as givens, as gifts? These are not just the givens of talents or inspired ideas, but all the givens that combined create the wholeness and the holiness of who you are. A Creator who desired only sameness would not have created a world of such diversity. You are a creator who created this diversity. It was and is a choice meant to release the beauty of expression in all its forms. You have a given form that is perfect for your expression of the beauty and truth of who you are. You cannot express the beauty and truth of who another is. You cannot express the beauty and truth of a future self. You can only express the beauty and truth of who you are now, in the present. And you do. You just have not realized that you do. You have not desired to do so but desired to do something else! Desired to wait, desired to learn, desired to imitate.
9.26 What might happen if you change what you desire? You might just realize your freedom.
9.27 Nothing, not even the ego, has been able to keep you from expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. You came into the world of form incapable of not expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. That you are is an expression of beauty and truth. You express the beauty and truth of who you are by being alive. It has only been your inability to accept this that has caused your grief and pretensions. In a certain sense, your ability to express the beauty and truth of who you are has been taught out of you by learning practices that sought for sameness, and saw not your differences as the gifts they are.
9.28 All of these learning practices were the product of false images of the way things—and you—should be! Can you not see the extreme urgency of not perpetuating such a practice?
9.29 All you need do is look at a young child to see the joy, beauty, and truth of expression. You, too, were once a young child. You are still the same self you were then. You are, however, a self in whom the freedom of expression has been diminished. Diminished, but not extinguished.
9.30 Now we must return to you the freedom and the will to fan the flames of your desire to be, and to express, who you are in truth.
9.31 Thus you can see that a key step in doing this is the debunking of the myth of an ideal self. An ideal self, like a god seen as “other than” puts all that you would long for in a place outside of, or beyond, the Self you are now.
9.32 You might ask here what is wrong with desiring to have the freedom to strive to be more and to do more. You might ask what life would be for without this type of freedom to strive, to achieve, to accomplish, to work toward and realize goals. This is the second myth that must be shattered if you are to know true freedom. It begins with the simple realization that you do still desire, or think you desire, learning challenges of this type and with the realization that this is all these are—learning challenges. You seek learning challenges now only because of the consistency with which you did so in the past. In the past you moved quickly from one learning challenge to another. You have just completed a monumental learning challenge and so your natural pattern would be to keep going now, to use the momentum of this learning success to achieve another.
9.33 This pattern will be easily replaced, however, as your acceptance of yourself as you are, the real challenge of this time, begins to grow and to build your confidence. Unity and your access to unity will be your certainty. Trust in your own abilities—the abilities of the self of form joined with the Self of union—will be your confidence. Only these combined abilities will release your power.
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