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9.1 The art of thought is not possible without a return to the virgin or unaltered Self. The practice of the art of thought is what will complete the return begun through the coursework in A Course of Love. This will bring about the union of the male and female, of conception and action, of inspiration and manifestation. This is what we have been speaking of when speaking of miracle-mindedness or miracle-readiness. This is wholeheartedness and is achieved through mindfulness.
9.2 Whether you be male or female matters not, as you are in truth, the union of each. The end of separation that brought about the resurrection brought about this union and the separation of male and female continues to exist only in form.
9.3 However, we are talking now, in a certain sense, of an elevation of form. While this is actually an elevation beyond form, it must begin in the reality where you think you are. In other words, it must begin with form. You cannot await some changed state but must create the changed state you await.
9.4 You are used to creating in outward ways. One of the few exceptions to this outward creation is the act of giving birth. But birth, like all outward manifestations, but reflects inner change. The growth of a new being within the womb of another is a visible manifestation of gestation, which is the prelude to resurrection. What was once part of the mother and father, what would have died without the joining that occurred within, becomes new life.
9.5 Now you are asked to carry new life not in the womb but in the united mind and heart.
9.6 Let us consider why birth has been the purview of women and males have been incapable of giving birth. This is because, in your version of creation, there needed to be a giver and a receiver. You knew that giving and receiving makes one in truth. This is your recreation of this universal truth. You remembered that something does not come from nothing and that nothing is all that exists without relationship.
9.7 Yet you have not remembered that the first union is of mind and heart. The first union is union with the Self. This union with the Self is resurrection or rebirth. All are capable of this life-giving union. All are capable of birthing the Self.
9.8 But what then of the necessary act of giving and receiving? In this birth of the Self, who is the giver and who is the receiver? In order for the Self to be birthed, giving and receiving must be one in truth. Yet it seems there must be one to give and one to receive. You have long waited to receive what you have thought could come only from some other. Your churches are but evidence of this as you seek from religion an intercessor, one to facilitate for you this receiving or communion. Only through the Christ within you does this giving and receiving become one in truth.
9.9 As I awaited my death I was given the gift of knowing what would come to be through my resurrection. This I tried to pass on in the simplest of terms. I tried to make it known that while I would die and resurrect into a new form, you would also; that this new form would exist within you; that you would become the Body of Christ and giving and receiving would be complete.
9.10 You are the Body of Christ.
9.11 What will it mean to bring about the union of the male and female, of conception and action, of inspiration and manifestation? It will mean union and a time of miracles. It will mean that you are the living Body of Christ.
9.12 In the broadest of terms, this is already happening. As the ego has become threatened and allowed the coming of guidance, males and females both have begun to work with the parts of themselves over which the ego has the least control. For males this has most often meant a turning away from the intellectual realm, which was ruled by the ego, to the realm of feelings. For females this has most often meant a turning away from the feeling realm where their egos held most sway, toward the intellectual. This instinctual turning toward an opposite has been made to serve you through the intercession of the Holy Spirit. In turning within rather than without to find what you need to free you from the ego’s reign, you have turned toward wholeness. In the same way that embracing both the male and female attributes within you causes a merging of both and a wholeness to be achieved, so too does a wholeness then come about with conception and action, inspiration and manifestation.
9.13 Lest you fight these ideas as stereotypical, I will give just a few brief examples. These I ask you to cull from your own recent experience. What has caused the ego to become more apparent to you as you have learned this Course? Has it not seemed to lie dormant for periods of time and then to suddenly be called back to life through some event or situation? What was this event or situation? Did it not threaten your self-image? And did this threat occur at what you would call the feeling level or at the intellectual level? Were your feelings hurt or your pride? Your feelings called into question or your ideas? And what guise did the ego take as it rallied to your aid? Did it require you to retreat or advance? Did it stir emotions or attempt to still them?
9.14 These may be difficult questions to answer as your initial reaction and your response will likely have taken on different forms. You may for instance, have reacted by being hurt or angry. Your response may then have been either an emotional one or an intellectual one. The point here is that the one that is most comfortable and that is likely your first reaction, is cognizant with your old pattern, or the pattern of the ego. What breaks the ego’s hold will be the second reaction, or the turning away from the old.
9.15 One first reaction might be to puff oneself up with pride, bolster one’s position, think one’s way through, argue, manipulate, or chastise another so that you feel better in relationship to the other in the situation or event. Another’s first reaction might be one of self-pity, of making oneself or another feel guilty, or of experiencing a sense of diminished self-esteem or worthiness. The first will feel like an intellectual position. The second like a feeling position. Turning away from the intellectual position to one of feeling will most readily and quickly solve the first. The second will be most readily and quickly overcome by a turn toward reason or the intellect. The perceived attack will have entered at the place where you have placed your highest value and are thus most vulnerable. In the past your response would have been to protect and use that which you have most valued. Now your response will have been changing. You will not see so much to value in what has called your ego into action and will turn away from it.
9.16 What “was” is being thrown out and the first step in this is embracing what you heretofore have not embraced. You are pulling forth sides of your selves that were previously undervalued rather than looking for an other to provide what you lack. This is important and universal in its impact. It would seem to be about balance but is about wholeness. Male and female are labels laden with attributes. When the different attributes are merged, male and female will be no more and wholeness will reign.
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