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37.1 What we have just done is replaced an old idea of God with a new idea of God.
37.2 If you no longer believe in God as a supreme and separate being, why should it be difficult to see that God is being? This is not much different than saying that the most basic truth about you is that you are being—and that the most basic truth about God is that God is being. Yet the fact that you are being does not define who you are any better than the earlier example of your experiences would define who you are, because being, by itself, does not differentiate or individuate you.
37.3 Recall that creation begins with movement. Being is only being in relationship. Movement nor experience exist without relationship. Thus the world does not exist without relationship—as nothing exists without relationship. But relationship, like being and experience, does not differentiate or individuate you in separation as it does in union. Separation and the contrast of the separate define every relationship with either/or rather than both/and thinking: that is, you are a woman and not a man, you are a human being and not a divine being, you are a person and not a tree. As a separate being, you only relate to other separate things. In short, who you are being is all predicated, first and foremost, by the relationship that you see yourself as having to the world around you. Since you see yourself as separate from it, all that you experience with your being is separation. All that you represent with your being is a separate being or a separate self.
37.4 This could not help but be your perception since you came into being in a known world, where you were told that you are a person with a certain name, that you belong to a family, all of whom are separately named and have separate roles, and that you live in a household, in a city, in a state, in a country, in a world, wherein everything has a separate name and purpose. In a sense, this is the end of the story, or the beginning of a story already written—a story of separation. You were not alone in this story, and yet you were taught to experience only in separation from the being you were being. And thus, not knowing your union and relationship with your being, but only your separate relationships with “others,” you saw yourself as a separate being, and incapable of creating anything except, just possibly, the relationship you would choose to have with others and the world around you.
37.5 You have thus experienced relationship in a very defined and separate way—a way that does not represent the truth of who you are, or what relationship is—a way that represents separation rather than differentiation or individuation.
37.6 Relationship and union are the way of God. The way of heart and mind, body and soul, heaven and earth. God is being in unity and relationship. So are you.
37.7 How then, you might ask, are you distinct from God? Is your body distinct from your aliveness? You keep looking for distinction from God as if distinction means separation—as if God is a separate being. If this were all this idea was, it would not be so difficult to dislodge, but the difficulty lies in that you think of God in your image, and the image you hold of yourself has been inaccurate. Because you believe you are separate, you created God as a particular and separate being.
37.8 You keep striving for differentiation in a way that simply will not work—through separation! And what’s more, you keep striving for differentiation while wanting to continue a certain reliance. Your differentiation from the being of God can only come through the relationship and unity that you would deny in your quest for separation! This would be like demanding to be a body and not a mind! Your reliance on God can only come through the relationship and unity that you would deny in your quest for separation! This would be like demanding that the mind send the body the signals it needs while proclaiming their separation.
37.9 One of the reasons you have been as intent as you have been on your idea of a separate and particular God is that you want to believe that there is a compassionate being in charge of everything, looking out for you, there to help when you are in need. God is all compassionate being everywhere—not one being of compassion! In union and relationship you realize this. And you realize that all compassionate being everywhere is a consciousness or beingness that you share. And further, you realize that what is possible is for you to become the one being of compassion that you already are in God.
37.10 And then you realize that Jesus was being God and was called Jesus Christ because he lived within Christ-consciousness, or the compassionate consciousness that you share. You realize that the man, the God, the historical figure who has been called Jesus Christ was not only Jesus but Christ. Not only Christ but Jesus. Not separated but individuated. You realize that the call for the second coming of Christ has sounded and that it is a call to the difference you have always desired while not requiring you to remain separate!
37.11 Subtract any sum from another and you will realize that subtraction results in a new number, a remainder, that when added to the previous number returns it to its original value. Think further of a problem in division that results in something left undivided, something called a remainder. To remain is to continue to exist. It is what is left when parts have been taken away. It is what was not destroyed by the removal of the parts. You “remain” one in being. You “remain,” just as the numbers of simple mathematics remain, one with the whole. You have seen yourself as capable of being divisible from that which is your Source, but division, like differentiation or individuation, is only possible in union and relationship. Two separate numbers, with no relationship, no interaction, no division and no subtraction, simply remain what they are.
37.12 Let us look for a moment at what and who you have been being and what and who God has been being.
37.13 You have, quite simply, been being. The simple truth that you are being makes you one with God, who is being. This truth, however, has escaped you. So you have been being the particular self you have “known” or perceived yourself to be—the self you were defined as at birth—a human being—something you have seen as separate rather than distinct from the divine being who is God. Because you are being, however, (and note here that you are being, and God is being, and that it is not being said that either you or God are “a” being) you have power—the power of being which is the power of thought, feeling, creating, and perceiving or knowing.
37.14 You have known that power only in relationship to the separate reality in which you believe yourself to exist. You have exercised that power by making choices as and for your separate self, at times in relationship with loved ones, at times seeing the connectedness of your life with that of others, but even then, only on a limited scale. You have often not exercised even this limited power, believing that life just “happens” to you, and then responding to what happens. You believe either that you are in complete control of your life, or that God or fate have as much control as you do. You may believe yourself, God, and fate to be benevolent, or you may believe that everything, including yourself, works against you. You may rely more on your thoughts, or more on your feelings. You may see yourself as creative, or you may not. You may realize the extent to which your perception of the world shapes your life, or you may not.
37.15 But more fundamentally than even all of this, you might ask, if you are one in being with God, is it being said that you are being God? That you have been being God even within the limited parameters of life as you have known it?
37.16 Unfortunately, this is not what is being said. What is being said is that you are simply being. You are being a feeling, thinking, creating, perceiving human being because this is what you believe yourself to be. You may see yourself as a separate human being having a separate and distinct relationship with God, by which you mean a relationship like no other. And if you see yourself in such a way, then you do have a relationship in separation. It might be somewhat like your relationship with a deceased relative in that you feel a bond, a link between heaven and earth, and even some possibility of communication through prayer or other experiential means. But this is still a relationship in separation—between your separate self and the separate and now dead self of the relative. This is not only a relationship in separation but a perceived relationship only—and only because you do not believe that you can “know,” truly know, what you do in truth know. You know that you know, but you do not believe that you know, because you believe you are separate and so cannot know anything for certain save that for which you have experiential or scientific proof. As a separate being unable to know, you have been forced, or so you think, to rely on “external” proof.
37.17 Perception and knowing have been used together here in describing the conditions of being because you must be able to perceive in order to be a being. But knowing is also used because you are, as a being, just as capable of knowing as you are of perceiving. In separation, however, the only known can be the self. How could you possibly “know” anything from which you are separate? You can imagine what it means to “know” another person, to be a tree blowing in the wind, what it would be like to know God, but you cannot know, and your separate being “knows” of this impossibility. This is why this Course has had, as its main objective, returning you to true knowing of your Self. A separate being can only truly know itself. Yet in knowing yourself, you can come to know that you are not separate. If you can come to know that you are not separate, you can return to union and relationship and through union and relationship to true individuation and true knowing.
37.18 Certainly you “feel” like an individuated being, a unique being. You “feel” love and you feel pain, and both feel quite unmistakably like “your” love and “your” pain and no one else’s. You feel like a “you.” This too is “who” you have been being, because as a being you feel. But here again, you have felt only as a being in separation can feel. You know that despite how often someone says they “know how you feel” that they really do not. They cannot know because they are not you. You cannot know how another feels because you are not them. You can join in relationship with others who feel similarly and can find great joy in feeling “as if” someone knows how you feel and who you are. But you have felt doomed to never being known and to never really sharing how you feel.
37.19 This is “who” you have been being.
37.20 Now let us talk of God.
37.21 God is being in unity and relationship with everything. Thus God knows you. God is one in being with you because you are one aspect of everything. As one being in unity and relationship with everything God is one with every thought and every feeling. God is one with every creation. God is all knowing. God is, in short, the collective consciousness and the collective consciousness is that which links every being with every other being in unity and relationship.
37.22 This “link” is very powerful. Where willingness is demonstrated, this link can be moved to be, rather than “just” a link, a cooperative relationship. This cooperative relationship, accessed through willingness, could also be called the “being” that you appeal to when you appeal to God. Knowing what you are coming to know about the true nature of God should thus not leave you feeling bereft of a God you can feel close to, appeal to, thank and praise. But doing so can also be confusing if it leads to thoughts of God as a particular being. Yet the idea of God as Father, introduced and championed by Jesus Christ, was also created by Jesus Christ. Thus is the power of man and God together, the power of creation. What this is saying is that there is a God the Father to relate to and that this God the Father does not negate God, nor does God negate God the Father.
37.23 God the Father is an idea that was created and thus exists much as other ideas of God were created and thus exist. But this creation, like the creation of Jesus Christ himself, is not all of God, while at the same time it is all of God just as Jesus was and is all of God. In union and relationship, God is all and God is differentiated.
37.24 Jesus, the example life used throughout this Course, was both man and God. He was being in unity and relationship. Being God did not negate his being Jesus. And being Jesus did not negate God being God. Jesus could create God the Father, could create a being consistent with his being, because he was a creator. He was, in short, being in union and relationship.
37.25 Jesus was all of God and God was all of Jesus while at the same time each was different or individuated by being in union and relationship.
37.26 The only real difference that exists or has ever existed between God and man is that man sees difference in a way that makes no sense. Like the faulty ideas of creation that shaped your “creation” of your separate world spoken of early in this Course, your quest for differentiation has been caused by your faulty memory of creation. To differentiate in union and relationship is to be God in form—to give expression to “all” that exists in union and relationship through your being.
37.27 By simply being, you have been “part” of God but you have not seen this as what it really means either. You have seen this as being separate, or at most as being “a” part of God—as if you are a drop of water in the ocean—and in this example reemphasized the mightiness of God and the lowliness of man. The “part” of God you have been being is being. You have been a feeling, thinking, creating, perceiving being. The “part” of God you have not been being is union. Remember, God is being in union and relationship. This is what God is. God is being. God is relationship. God is union.
37.28 Holy relationship is relationship with the Christ in you—the bridge to unity.
37.29 Like heart, mind, and body is to your form, being, union, and relationship is to God’s “form.”
37.30 You have been being, and you have been being in relationship because you could not “be” otherwise, but you have not been being in union.
37.31 The divineness of your being is most revealed in relationship. The divineness of your being is most revealed when you cooperatively join with another or even with yourself. When you cooperatively join, you move the particular self aside and sometimes glimpse the divine being in relationship. But because you have so clung to separation, you have rarely, until recently, glimpsed union.
37.32 Glimpses of the being you are being when you are in unity and relationship have been offered to everyone. They have been afforded by willingness. They come from observation of Self and they come from observation of others. They come from what you are willing to observe. They become more than glimpses only when they become what you are willing to be.
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