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I am going to take a moment here, perhaps many moments. I am going to speak on Paul’s behalf and for Paul at the moment, because he knows that if he spoke to you, he would lose his cool. He wishes to apologize to everyone for the delay this evening. But the fact is that he is experiencing a great deal of fear, and has been for the last week to week-and-a-half, and it is making it difficult for him to hear me and let what I am saying flow smoothly and freely. Part of my talking here is to help him feel being on the beam with me and to relax so that the flow can smooth out, and so that he can find himself disentangled from the fear.
Very simply, the fear revolves around a significant decrease in the flow of financial support, which his ego insists on turning in on him. You see, I will not go where his ego wants to take this. Needless to say, it has caused him to feel increasingly responsible personally for that which he cannot be responsible. And this has been overwhelming.
It is important for all of you to know that he really is no different from you. And when fear enters the picture, it is still necessary for him, as it is necessary for every one of you, to make a conscious choice as to whether he is going to listen to the voice for fear, or to the Voice for Truth. If he had listened to the voice for fear tonight he would have come out and said he’s at the end of his rope and cannot be present for the Gathering this evening. That was not his choice, however, even though he was, and still is, far from the Place of Peace that he finds normal under these circumstances.
Although he feels like he is no example whatsoever, I am saying that in front of you, he is being an example of what one must do when fear runs rampant through you and every fiber of your body says hide. And what it means is hide from the Truth that would be the answer. It means hide in and feel the fear, and send out messengers of fear to find confirmation of the justification for fear. A different choice has to be made, even though it isn’t what one feels naturally and spontaneously like doing. One has to choose for Love. One has to choose for Truth. And one has to choose for extending it right in the face of the fear; not against the fear, but instead of the fear.
You can’t battle fear. All you can ever do is have another point to give your attention to and persist in giving your attention there–the Voice for Truth, the God within you, the Holy Spirit, your capacity to be the Presence of Love and persist in the face of fear, whether the circumstances that have occasioned the fear, or that seem to justify the fear, have changed or not.
What I’m saying is as good as anything we could be reading from the book tonight, and in fact is supported by what is in the book.
[pause] I have assured Paul that he is not blocking me at this moment. I simply am not saying anything. [long pause]
Paul wishes to convey a commitment to you, and everyone, who finds value in the work, the activity, that he and I are engaged in. And that commitment is that no matter what happens, he’s not going to stop listening to me and he is not going to stop finding a way, or allowing for a way, for it to be extended. Nothing will stop him from that. That is his commitment. You might think it’s a commitment to me, but it’s a commitment to you. That is the way it has worked. That is the way it will work. That is only way it will work.
And although it might mean that things are not easy, he is in complete agreement with me that there will never be a charge placed on any aspect of the extension of his union with me. And his commitment to that is not an intellectual commitment. He knows that this is the only way it will work. And he is in harmony with the fact that that’s the only way it will work. Not that that’s the only way it will work for him, but that’s the only way it will work for everyone.
Everyone will have to participate in the fact that it’s all about Gift. It’s all about giving. It’s all about extending. It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you, extend to you, the Kingdom–All That Is. If that’s the way the Father works, that’s the way Being works. If that’s the way Being/existing works, that’s the way each of you works. That is the Nature of your Being.
When one tries to act on one’s own, one spontaneously behaves defensively. And one gets into the mode of getting, acquiring, possessing. And then protecting one’s possessions. The exact opposite of Gift. The exact opposite of Extension. The exact opposite of Love. The exact opposite of Caring.
I am talking about this tonight because this is what needs to be addressed. Not because those of you here do not reciprocate. Not because those of you who are here are not giving. Not because you’re not supporting enough. This isn’t directed at you. But I am addressing a general attitude, because my words will reach further than just you. It addresses a basic attitude that is immobilizing to the experience of the influx of Wholeness for absolutely everyone who isn’t Awake.
And I’m not addressing the problem; I’m addressing the solution. I’m giving voice to the answer; the answer for everyone. Because the simple fact is that as each of you take the essential step of shifting from getting to giving, you do two things. You become, first of all, an agent for change in the world, and contribute significantly thereby to the Evidence of Atonement in the world. And the second thing is that that change which you become the agent of, is a result of your fulfilling your Function to glorify God by being like Him, instead of trying so hard to be different from Him. And this brings you back into the fulfillment of your Function.
And this is what the Course is about. This is what Awakening is about in practical nitty-gritty down-to-earth terms, where what’s down-to-earth becomes transformed before your eyes, and you begin to see the Evidence of Heaven where your sense of separation had created a distorted experience called “the world and universe that has nothing to do with God at all.”
This, we–Paul and I–will continue to give voice to, come hell or high water, because it is the only answer, and because it is the only thing that will dissolve the experience of hell and high water.
And you know what? I’ve said it before this evening, but I’m going to say it again. Don’t think that because you are consciously engaged in an apparent process of Awakening which is an endeavor that is to your credit, [it] is going to be easy. Do not misunderstand. I am not saying it is going to be, or it has to be, hard. But the very practical fact is that you are used to being governed by your ego and its perceptions. And you have valued them. You have built a security system based on those ego perceptions. And you have great commitment to ensuring your safety through the maintenance of that security system. And in your process of Awakening, that security system will be dismantled.
And you will dismantle it peace by peace. That’s interesting, isn’t it? P-e-a-c-e by p-e-a-c-e. Little by little, you will increase your Peace by dismantling another p-i-e-c-e of your defense system, your defense mechanism, which is what the ego is. And as you do it, you will find moments where you are dismantling a part of your defense system that you have felt was particularly essential to your safety, and fear will rear its head. Not for the first time, but for the millionth time. And it has reared its head so many times that you are very familiar with every aspect of and every detail of that fear, and every justification for it, so that when it rears its head, it’s easy to feel the fear fully, even though the dismantling you have engaged in has actually weakened it.
And you will have to do what Paul is doing this evening. And that is continue with the dismantling in spite of the fear, because you know that in the dismantling of the defense system, you will feel your inviolability, your innocence, and your absolute safety that requires no defense system. And because there is somewhere in you that you know that you are absolutely and utterly safe, no matter what. And therefore, it is becoming more and more apparent to you that what is called for when fear raises its head is to not energize it by giving your attention to it and being distracted from the dismantling of the defense system.
That is what I mean when I say that it isn’t easy. But you must understand that just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean what you’re doing is wrong. It doesn’t mean that you must be dismantling it wrong. It doesn’t mean that you must not really be engaged in Awakening, else everything would be smooth and hunky-dory. If you understand this, you will be able to face the suggestion that fear is justified and that there is reason to disengage from dismantling the defense system. And you will persist, whether it is comfortable, or not. You will persist, whether it is comfortable or not. Go into this with your eyes wide open. I’m disillusioning you now. I am removing illusions that you might carry with you in this apparent process of Awakening, of coming back into your Right Mind.
“Onward Christian soldiers.” Well, that’s not what I’m talking about. We’re not doing battle with the ego. You are learning to recognize what it actually takes to become free of an illegitimate imposition upon you that has kept you from experiencing your Birthright. And that illegitimate imposition upon you is a defense mechanism, a defense system, a barrier, a wall, encircling you that protects you against experiencing God actually. The wall isn’t real. And it’s not your Birthright to be imprisoned inside the wall that encircles you. So persist, when the rules that say, “don’t tear down that wall,” try to cause you to stop energizing and validating the wall, and distract you from persisting in your intent to move through it. And the only way to move through it without finding it resisting you, is that by disregarding it, and persisting in wanting to have the Experience of Truth in which the illusion of a wall not only can’t stand, but must be shown to be nonexistent so that you may fall through it effortlessly.
I’m walking Paul through his wall right now. And you will find that when you insist upon getting past the wall of immobilizing fear that gets hold of you from time to time, you will have Help. You will have Support. You will have inner clarifications available to you of the sort Paul is getting right now to help you recognize what you don’t need to be responsive to, so that you don’t make it more difficult for yourself by energizing the wall more through harboring the fear; giving it a place of safety in you to reside by feeling it in all the different ways it’s possible to feel it. You see?
Fear is not natural to your mind. Fear is not natural to your mind. Therefore, to whatever degree you honor fear, you are behaving in an extremely abnormal way. You are using your mind in a totally abnormal way. You’ve got to make the choice not to use your mind that way. And choose not to use your mind in that way with persistence until the invitation to fear has subsided in you, and that which is not natural to your mind, seems no longer to be presenting itself as part of your mind.
Once it is no longer presenting itself as part of your mind, your Mind is available to fully represent God, to fully represent your Clarity and your Peace, to fully represent your capacity to be appropriate in every moment, and to be an agent for change, to shift into giving, into extending, which the wall of fear absolutely prohibited you from being and doing. And the world is blessed by your willingness to bless it. And you are blessed by your willingness to bless the world, instead of protecting yourself against the world.
Now, you and Paul will find that he and I have participated in being a living example of what’s on the next couple of pages of the Course which we would have covered if we had read them. This has been very healing for Paul and for every single one of you.
For those of you on the Internet who may not know where the next two pages are, for those of you who are reading the first edition, it starts on page 18, the second paragraph. And for those using the second edition, it starts on page 21, paragraph 2. We will not actually read from the Course this evening, but at the next evening we will start with those two pages.
And because next Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, we will not be having the Thursday evening Gathering. And we will resume two weeks from tonight.
Paul feels that the tone of voice has been somber this evening. He misses the lilt. But it has been perfect under the circumstances. I have shared what I have shared out of Love. And Paul has let me share what I have shared as an Act of Love, because even in the face of his fear, he refused to succumb to the very strong invitation to engage in defense and not hold the Gathering at all. And I thank him for that. And he has grown. And I thank you all for being part of it, sharing it with us.
I love you all. And when Paul’s mouth moves and forms those words, they are a statement about him as well. He loves you all.
Paul is not feeling buoyant yet, but he is not consumed with fear, and is experiencing significant, if not total, Peace.
And we will call it a night. Thank you.
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