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Last week we were talking about the Altar and that the problems that are experienced are a result of having one’s back turned to the Altar, and becoming distracted by the glow, the Effulgence, that surrounds the Altar. And then, because one is in a consciously disconnected … in a conscious disconnectedness with his divinity, the Altar, there is an experience of fear–an inevitable, unavoidable experience of fear, anxiety, concern, vulnerability. And that one then begins to manipulate the glow as a defense.
It is inevitable that all of you will find that as you turn back to the Altar where the opportunity of becoming connected once again with the very Essence of You, which is the flame, if you will, the illumination of Love that’s in the center of the Altar, that healing will be the result. Healing will be what you will have increasing evidence of.
And so it’s utterly natural that the next chapter is entitled: Healing as Release from Fear1
Remember that fear is occasioned by having consciously disconnected yourself from your capital “S” Self, the Altar, which is the Presence of God. And remember also, that to try to defend yourself, or save yourself, from what you find yourself fearing, you must not try to manipulate the glow more efficiently. You must turn around toward the Altar. So let’s keep this is mind as we proceed through this next section.
We’ll start right here:
Our emphasis is now on healing. The miracle is the means, the Atonement is the principle, and healing is the result.
… Healing is the result.
Let’s not forget that.
It’s too easy to get into a metaphysical mishmash of confusion where one can say, “I am Waking up and I don’t have evidence of healing, but evidence of healing is not the point.” It isn’t the point, but if you don’t have the evidence of it, you don’t have evidence of Atonement. Healing is the result. Expect it. Demand it. And if you aren’t experiencing it yet, persist in turning back to the Altar, giving your attention to It so that you might be infilled with the Love that you Are, that helps remind you that it’s senseless for you to be standing apart from It observing It, and so that you might have a back-into-the-Love experience, like a back-into-the-body experience.
To speak of “a miracle of healing” is to combine two orders of reality inappropriately. Healing is not a miracle. The Atonement, or the final miracle, is a remedy and any type of healing is a result. The kind of error to which Atonement is applied is irrelevant. All healing is essentially the release from fear.
Say that again:
All healing is essentially the release from fear.
Again more slowly:
All healing is essentially the release from fear.
Indeed. Continue …
To undertake this you cannot be fearful yourself. You do not understand healing because of your own fear.
Now you will not understand healing as long as you have your back to the Altar.
But the moment you turn toward the Altar and you are not giving your attention to your fearful establishment of defense, you will find yourself feeling loved by the Light of the Altar, which is your essential Being and is the Presence of God in you as You. And as that Love infills you, fear will leave, and the evidence of fear will leave, and perfection is what you will find yourself experiencing. And you will understand what has happened.
But it is not as though the understanding is what brought about the healing. And you will know that as well. You will know that the Love you have been embraced by from the Altar, is the very Love that you Are. And in the absence of any sense of separation from It, you will feel the wholeness of your Being that has always been available for you to experience. And what you will understand is Love is the answer. What you will understand is that giving your attention to the Love that you Are, the Altar in the center of you, rather than to that which you would defend yourself against, demonstrates the fact that what you were afraid of was an illusion. This I call a Knowing rather than an understanding. It’s the truth experienced by you consciously–not over and against anything–but as the only thing that is Real. And right now when you are feeling defended in any aspect, truth is still the only thing that is Real about you.
A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels. Sickness or “not-right-mindedness” is the result of level confusion…
Let’s stop right there.
Sickness has here been defined as “not-right-mindedness.” It hasn’t been defined as not-right-physicalness, or not-right-relationships, or not-right-governmental-leaders. Sickness is defined as “not-right-mindedness.”
Continue … Sickness …
Sickness or “not-right-mindedness” is the result of level confusion, because it always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another.
You see, here it is in simple language. When you turn your back on the Altar and you consciously dissociate yourself from your connection with your Source, you become preoccupied, as I said, with the glow, with the evidence of the Presence of the Altar. And fear is immediately present.
You don’t know what it is you are fearful of, because you don’t know why you’re afraid. You don’t realize that you’re afraid because you’ve turned your back on your very Being. Now, you’re looking at the effect of the Presence of the Altar–the glow. And you decide to use the glow to defend yourself with. And you can defend it with beauty, or you can defend it, as I said last week, as an armament, as armor.
And what are you going to use to beautify or strengthen armament? To beautify, to provide a beautiful façade that constitutes a distraction from the essential You, or to strengthen a fortress? Well, the only thing for you to do anything with, the only thing you are ever confronted with is Reality–the Kingdom of Heaven–the Infinite Manifestation of God. And so you will have to take some of the Infinite Manifestation of God to strengthen your fortress. Or you will have to take some of the Infinite Manifestation of God to create more exquisite distracting beauty. In other words, you will start using effects, manifestations, to strengthen the manifestation of your defense; the evidence of your defense.
This is called level confusion. It’s confusion because you have two choices. The real choice of turning around and facing the Altar and feeling into the Presence of Love that is at its center, which is God Being all there is of you. Or, you have the option to keep your back to It and use more of the manifestation of God to keep you safe against other aspects of the infinite manifestation of God that you are going to defend yourself against. You see what I’m saying?
We have referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur. Only the mind is capable of error.
And what causes it to experience error is by giving its attention in the wrong place.
The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought.
And we’ll say that the glow, the effulgence, around the Altar, can only respond to, let us say, the manipulations that a Son of God applies to it when the Son of God has forgotten that he is the Son of God and that to use some part of God as a defense against some other part of God is utter foolishness.
The body cannot create,…
The infinite manifestation of God cannot create. Yes.
Let’s not confine this just to what you call the physical body. It’s to all evidence of existence. All evidence of Being. Creation itself.
… and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. Physical illness represents a belief in magic. The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control.
When you look at Creation with your back to the Altar, and therefore disconnected from the Father’s Perspective about Creation, because Creation is alive, because it is manifesting life, it appears to be able to be aggressive, and therefore a formidable enemy to protect yourself against. It doesn’t just sit there in a static state, because it’s the evidence of God Himself. And so, one can come to the conclusion that the foe is aggressive, intelligent, and able to direct its attention toward you negatively–which is why, you assume, you must be ready to defend yourself against this active, aggressive foe. And yet, the only Life the foe seems to have is the Life that Creation Itself is perfectly expressing in a God-directed way.
This error can take two forms; it can be believed that the mind can miscreate in the body, or that the body can miscreate in the mind.
When it is understood that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, neither type of confusion need occur.
That is correct.
There isn’t anything but Mind. And that is why I keep saying that everything you are seeing is an Idea in the Mind of God. And that all Ideas are perfectly tangible and experiential/experienceable to the Mind which formed them. But just because they are tangible to the Mind that forms them, doesn’t mean they’re matter. They are Pure Spirit.
In that first form of error where the mind miscreates the body. Okay?
I’m not quite clear on the disease, or illness, or sickness, can be created by … it … I mean for instance, if you worry, if there’s worry or defensiveness, or I mean I think everybody has had the experience of making themselves sick with worry. So, is that not the mind causing disturbance in the body?
Okay. So what does this mean where it says the mind miscreates, the first error is that the mind miscreates the body? Is that not a miscreation in the body? For instance, you know, having an upsettedness so bad that you create an ulcer, or a tumor, or something like that. Isn’t that a miscreation in the body?
So I thought that that was an error. It says, “The error can take two forms. It can be believed that the mind can miscreate the body.”
So what you’re saying is that that manifestation is an error? Or is it saying …
Absolutely. It is not the truth. It is a misperception.
Okay. I see what you’re saying. I see. So it actually is happening. But it’s because of an error that the mind is …
The mind actually … the mind believes it’s actually happening.
But in Reality, it’s not?
That’s correct. That is the only way you could experience an instantaneous healing.
I see what you’re saying. It is the recognition that it doesn’t exist. That it’s not happening.
The miracle is a sudden shift of perception.
One cannot possibly have a sudden shift of perception without seeing a sudden shift in the manifestation of his experience; a shift that cannot be accommodated by the laws of physics.
Well, so, in other words, you see what you believe.
Then that, then that to me, it’s like then what is Reality?
I mean if you see what you believe. [laughs]
That’s the best question you could ask. And when you ask that question and don’t try to figure it out yourself, you are in effect turning toward the Altar.
Okay. Okay. So, not having the answer to that question, that’s okay? I can relax? [laughter]
Not having the answer to that question can’t help but trigger curiosity the next time you experience a discomfort. It can’t help but trigger curiosity even if there is no complaint, because it means that what you are experiencing right there as your body at this moment is not the ultimate truth; is actually flawed. Your perception and experience of it is flawed by the fact that you are not giving your attention to it WITH GOD, so that God might reveal to you what He is Being right there.
No miscreation ever becomes Real. You see what you believe, but the corker of it is that you believe what you see. That locks you in until you have the curiosity to see what it really Is. It will take something to distract you from your conviction–from the conviction of your belief. And what it will take is curiosity.
May I? I’d like to have one more quick [question]. So, say, I haven’t seen someone, a friend, in a long time. And they have misperceived themselves as being ill. And I haven’t heard about it or anything. And then I see them and I go, “Oh, my God! They don’t look well at all.” That is obviously …
Thank God, I didn’t do that with Lazarus. And he looked pretty bad. [much audience laughter]
So that … so what’s happening there is it is a mutually-agreed-upon concept. What’s happening there.
In other words, I didn’t know they were sick. So how did I see them as sick? It was … there’s a communication taking part on a whole different … another level, other than speech. Or it’s like I didn’t know they were going to be looking sick, but as soon as I look at them, they don’t even have to say anything, and I’m perceiving that. And that’s because all minds are joined? And …
… and the fact that you already have mutually-agreed-upon definitions to various kinds of appearances.
So, because they are feeling bad, they present this image, and then automatically I buy into it?
Unfortunately, you do it automatically … yes. You have another option. And that’s what you all have to realize. [snaps fingers] On the spot, you have another option …
Okay. Thank you.
… so that you don’t join them further in confirming what they are believing about themselves.
And as long as you are joining with them and confirming it, you are incapable of being an agent for change, or the precipitator of a miracle.
And mind you, what you believe about them is whatever you believe about yourself.
I was just reminded of a song. The title of it is, “One Belief Away.” And that that’s why a miracle is always spontaneous, because if we realized it was the mutual… that this is where the mutual agreement fits in. You know, when we release that belief. A simple thought. We’re one belief away from a miracle every moment. That that’s … the potential is so great every moment, that I could think even in this room tonight.
Exactly … yes.
To make this simple again. We have this whirlwind of body misperceiving mind, mind misperceiving body, mutual agreements, ya diddy ya. And all the time, all of Reality is in the Altar, and all I need to do is turn and look at that. Simply.
Yes. And all the time, Reality, unperturbed by all of these imaginings, awaits your discovery of It as it Is.
And then the activity of the Atonement becomes obvious to me by looking at the Altar. The way to change the world becomes obvious to me simply by looking at the Altar.
Yes. Because when you are looking at the Altar, its Illumination illuminates you, and renders your committed beliefs invalid effortlessly. And once they are seen as invalid, they are seen as not useful. And none of you holds on to anything that you don’t find useful. You don’t even have to throw away an un-useful belief once it is recognized to be not useful. It is abandoned effortlessly.
Be aware that you see what you believe. And so, you believe you’re vulnerable. And you get tense; experience chronic anxiety. You say that your body tenses up, but you are tensing it up. That’s where level confusion comes in. You say, “My body is doing something. It is tensing up.” But it is not. You, experiencing anxiety, tense your body up to give it more density, to fool yourself into believing that it is more impervious by virtue of the tension, the tightness. And then, because you believe that your body is doing this, you then begin to believe what you are seeing, and you see your body as an enemy which you must bring under control. You see? Then you say, “My body has an actual disease, an ulcer, or a cancer.” See, that’s when you are believing what you are seeing. And that will lock you in to the experience of cancer and whatever your associated beliefs are about it.
I will tell you all something: You could have much more creative beliefs about cancer. Your creative beliefs about cancer could involve the restructuring and rebuilding of a lost limb. That will give you something to contemplate. A different set of beliefs about it would have a different effect.
So, it is dangerous to believe what you see, and say, “My mind has created an actual disease.” It’s still as illusory and intangible as the confused thought that caused you to use your body in that way. Do you see?
So indeed, you must dare to look at whatever the dis-ease is and recognize, be willing to recognize that it is an illusion caused by seeing what you have believed in your mind first, and then believing the result, as though it’s separate and different from your mind. Because until you realize that only mind has the capacity to be creative, you won’t be able to get free of believing what you’re seeing and changing your mind by being willing to turn around to the Altar and say, “God, what is this really? What is this thing I call ‘body’ really? What is this thing I call ‘world and universe’ really?” If it’s the effulgence, the manifestation of God being the Movement of Creation constantly, then you are all in store for the wonderful experience of having it revealed to you as what It really is.
If you realize that the cancer, or whatever it might be, whatever dis-ease it might be, is nothing more than a mental distortion that was caused by the adopting of certain ideas, and a commitment to those ideas, you will then have the means of being miracle-ready, because you won’t fight the cancer, or the dis-ease. You will turn around to God and say, “What’s the real Meaning?” And you will ask it with a conscious desire to have your belief replaced with the conscious experience of what it really is, the direct experience of what it really is. You see?
Okay. The body is a very cherished and long-held idea, as are sicknesses and the cause of sicknesses. Yet, the Bible talks of you walking along with the multitudes and healing the people there.
… instantaneously, by the way.
Instantaneously … so you are seeing, when you see them, you see what you believe so you don’t see them as sick. Yet somehow this belief is able to shine from out of your Mind and into theirs so that they can adopt the belief that you presented as well, and experience the instantaneous healing.
There’s one key point. They had to be willing. Miriam was not willing, and so she remained lame.
So the healing was only to those who came to you for seeking healing?
And in doing so, it was easier for them to accept your Vision as their own?
They had to have their eyes turned toward the Altar as well. Otherwise, all I would be doing would be creating a further illusion.
So it was a … so the healings are choreographed.
You might say that they are choreographed by the desire and willingness of the one wanting to be healed.
Which would be you as well as the blind man joined in that desire.
Yes. As I’ve said before, your good cannot be inflicted upon you. And knowing that is a step of empowerment for each of you. You say, “Oh, my God! You mean it’s all up to me?” Well, I’ll tell you something. If it was up to someone else, you would be at their mercy. What if they didn’t choose to service you today? “Oh, I’m busy today. Come back tomorrow . . .” You see?
But when you say, “It’s up to you,” the You that you Are is more than this body we think we are, which is part of the problem, which is part of the wrong-mindedness.
Because the you … the Me that I am or the I Am that I am is inclusive of all of us here.
That is correct.
So Virginia’s healing is also my healing.
And I guess I can see that shining by the effect that her … that witnessing her healing has upon me or anyone else’s.
And even those who haven’t seen it and don’t know it has happened.
Because it’ll be there when their awareness is ready to …
Whether they like it or not, the density of the dream has lessened with every little insight that anyone experiences. And any instantaneous healing that occurs that cannot be attributed to any physical cause, causes such a shift in the experience in the mind of the one who had the healing, that it touches everyone else as well. And it becomes easier for that to happen for everyone else. But it can’t make anyone accept the truth.
The thing that was not necessarily confusing me, but, when I was thinking about the correction of the mistake at the level that it’s occurring on, I was getting this little, uh, you know, here’s a chance to go back in and mess with it on my own, kind of a thing, which instantly I knew that wasn’t right. But that was sort of what was going on. It’s like is this an option for me to go back in and mess with this stuff on my own? And now I see, from what you were saying, that all that’s gonna to be is the lesson. And I take that mistake at the level it appears to be and that’s what I turn to God. That’s when I turn to the Altar. And that’s just the lesson for today. All it is, is a trigger. The action is still the same.
Yes. Let’s say that with your back to the Altar, you have taken on the persona of a warrior. And so you have your armor, and you have your behavior as a warrior, as a retaliator against the attack coming from the world. And then, you get a little bit of illumination, and you try to incorporate it into your experience, and so you say, “Ah! Maybe the answer is not to be so warlike, but to express love. Ah … okay, well then, I’m going to dismantle my fortress. And I am going to make it lovelier. I’m going to make it less aggressive appearing, more benign appearing, more attractive so people won’t be afraid of me. And I will behave in a new way that is loving, because something in me tells me that loving kindness is more powerful than hate and attack.” And so this person makes the appearance more lovely, but his back is still to the Altar. You see? It is ultimately still a defense against being in one’s right Mind. It’s still succumbing to the idea that the world separate from God actually does exist, but needs to be treated in a new way.
Feng Shui …
Feng Shui, or whatever, you know. I mean redecorate your life.
Make it more user-friendlier.
And so one joins with others in a new set of mutually-agreed-upon definitions of behavior. And so you have, let us say, the United States, or western civilization, and they join together on a basis of justice, on a basis of respect for human rights. And they believe that their integrity and their high-minded values are a more worthy power or force in the world, which can cause those who don’t yet understand it, to knuckle under and get it, whether they’ve asked for it or not.
Whereas, if they turned to the Altar they would be filled with the experience of Love that would illuminate them and their behavior. And there would be no occasion to force others to recognize Love. But by being the Presence of Love, which has no ulterior motive to it, it would tend to melt the fear that would cause terrorism, or that would cause retaliation. The behavior would be different, but the actual healing element would be the benign Love at the center of it, radiating out and embracing everything without having a card up its sleeve, without having an ulterior motive of coercion. You see?
The redecorating your life, and Feng Shui, and making everything nice though seems …
… or redecorating the world according to high principles.
But it seems better than overwhelming force using all our options. I mean that’s a long way from Feng Shui. That’s … but you’re saying there’s no difference between having an overwhelming force using all our options, and just trying to tidy the place up a little bit and make it a little more … same stuff.
Ignorance is ignorance, whether it is expressed beautifully or harshly. Get this clear and you will attend to what will actually heal, what will actually transform.
And you won’t spontaneously give support to those who are rearranging the world from “high principles.” Do you see what I’m saying? And without support they won’t be able to remain quote “in power” unquote.
Let’s continue …
Only the mind can create because spirit has already been created, and the body is a learning device of the mind. Learning devices are not lessons in themselves.
I’m going to repeat something here that I have said in the past. Whenever you look at the Presence of God and say that it’s something other than the Presence of God, that particular Presence of God becomes a learning-device for you. When you look at the Presence of God and say, “That’s not the Presence of God,” the fact that it is the Presence of God and can’t stop being the Presence of God, will constitute, I’m going to call, an ever-present assertion in your experience of what it really Is, because it can’t stop being what it Is. And your denial of what it Is, is going to cause a friction, you might say, a discomfort in you, because you can’t be out of your Mind and be comfortable. And so, whatever of Reality you look at and you say, “It’s unreal,” will become a learning-tool; not because that’s its actual function, but because what it really Is cannot escape you.
And so, what it really Is will constantly nudge you, bug you, irritate you–not because it’s trying to be irritable–but because it will constantly insist upon registering with you as what it Is. And so, it will grab your attention, and hold your attention until you bless it by saying, “What are you really? In spite of what I believe you are, what are you really?” And once what it Is registers with you, you experience it as it Is for what it Is, and it is no longer a learning-tool, because there’s no learning for you to experience about it.
Here’s another way of putting it. When you look at some aspect of the Presence of God and say, “It isn’t God,” you have created ignorance of what it Is within yourself, and thereby an opportunity to learn. And therefore, that thing becomes a learning-device.
I want this brought out so that you don’t demean your bodies by calling it a learning-device that will disappear when you don’t need to learn anything anymore. It’s a learning-device because it isn’t what you have determined it is, and what it Really Is, not only awaits your discovery, but insists upon being recognized by you, because It’s God declaring Himself as Himself. And for you to recognize it, is something you ultimately have no choice about, even though you can resist recognizing it for what it Is for a period of time through a private, personal use of will. You see?
The whole Holy Spirit is a learning-tool. I mean all of our Nature that we’re denying being held in trust, that whole thing is a learning-tool?
Absolutely … absolutely.
Their purpose is merely to facilitate learning. The worst a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate learning. It has no power in itself to introduce actual learning errors. The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application.
Yes. In other words, it’s not available to be used positively or negatively, not truly.
This is not because the body is a miracle, but because it is not inherently open to misinterpretation.
It’s utterly simple. It’s utterly simple and doesn’t require interpretation. It only requires that you allow yourself to be present with it with a willingness to experience it as it truly Is. In other words, to experience the Presence of God there with the Meaning God is expressing of Himself right there.
The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. Its abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated.
Well yes, they are because just like the glow, the effulgence around the Altar, if you are distracted from the Altar, and all you can see is the glow, then you give it much more value and much more meaning than it actually has. All it is, is the glow. The glow indicating the Presence of a source of Light. The Light is what’s significant.
However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in this world. Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. The term “unworthy” here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful.
If one denies this unfortunate aspect of the mind’s power, one is also denying the power itself.
All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles.
And let’s look at this another way. Let us say that with your back to the Altar, you have built a fortress, and you have built it with rock and mortar. And you find that it will not withstand the ravages of time, much less a bold assault on it. And so, you decide that it needs to have some steel reinforcement. In other words, the remedy for the weakness of the structure is to be achieved by using a stronger physical structure to support it. That’s the use of magic. You try to correct the problem by using a stronger belief in strength, rather than solving the problem itself, which is that you have your back to the Altar.
This is the first step in believing that the body makes its own illness. It is a second misstep to heal it through non-creative agents. It does not follow, however, that the use of such agents for corrective purposes is evil.
Now this, the rest of this paragraph is extremely important. And I’m going to let you read it without interrupting.
Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement. In this case it may be wise to utilize a compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief. This is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded, or the sick, is an increase in fear. They are already in a fear-weakened state. If they are prematurely exposed to a miracle, they may be precipitated into panic. This is likely to occur when upside-down perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.
Indeed. This is perhaps one of the most practical statements you will find anywhere in the Course. It’s grounding, and means that no one has to go off the deep end, no one has to actually face more danger or more sense of danger than they can bear in order to experience healing, in order to experience relief, in order to experience clarification.
Divine Love always appears to you in the language of your present awareness. It does not require you to stand taller than you feel capable of. The Holy Spirit, your divinity held in trust while you dally with the ego, has the means of disclosing to you that which will reduce fear and promote healing, even if it’s not the ultimate truth. This is also very important for you to understand.
There are times that I have been accused of not being consistent from a conversation with one person at one time, and a conversation with someone else at another time, apparently talking about the same subject. But the fact is that the truth was presented to each of them in language that allowed for the greatest inner movement to occur, because it didn’t raise their level of fear, but reduced it.
Let’s continue …
The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. In fact, if it is used truly, it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver. This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, must be expressed in a language that the recipient can understand without fear.
I’m going to stop you there.
And how are you going to know what that is, without going through a full psychological evaluation of the person you’re speaking to? You’re going to have to assume that you don’t know. You are going to have to even acknowledge that you don’t know. And you’re going to have to be willing to allow for the fact that you personally don’t need to know, so that you might abandon all attempts to know on your own, and take the time to become still within yourself and ask, “What do I need to say? What is the appropriate response? What would You say, Father?” Or ask the Holy Spirit, or ask your Guide, or ask me. And then, because you don’t know what the appropriate response should be, you share the response you get.
And what you get in one circumstance might be, “Sit down, close your mouth, and be still for a moment,” which might not sound gentle, or loving, or pacifying. But for that individual it will be perfect, because that individual is feeling very scattered, very disconnected, very unstable, and needs direction at that very moment; clear, simple direction to follow so that that individual can become disentangled from all of the confusion. Oh, somebody else might look at that and say, “Oh, you’re being very controlling! How can that be healing?” You see? When the fact is, that it’s not control at all. It’s the presentation of that which meets the need for someone who at the moment doesn’t have the inner strength and discipline to provide those simple directions for themselves.
So sometimes what you end up saying won’t sound sweet. And other times where the circumstances might seem to be quite the same and you are dealing with an unruly individual, what you might find yourself saying is, “I love you,” and walking up and giving a hug, even though the individual has been displaying aggressive physical characteristics. And that will be what helps that one to soften, settle down, become quiet, and accomplish or end up doing what the words, “sit down, shut up“. You see?
And this takes trust. But if you don’t dare to inquire, if you don’t dare to turn to the Altar and make your connection there, then firmness or softness expressed is just a manipulation arising out of ignorance and one’s best assumption of what will work. And without the unction of Love, there will be no transformation. You will not be a real agent for change.
This does not necessarily mean that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable. It does mean, however, that it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable now. The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to lower it by increasing fear.
Now watch the ego, because the ego will come in there and say, “Oh, here’s a way to improve your presence while your back is to the Altar. Now you have a little tidbit of information. The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication. Ah! Ah! I can grasp that. We’re going to raise the level of communication.” And now you set out to “bless” your Brothers with your best idea of raising the level of communication, when what will actually raise the level of communication is not the words that you end up saying, but the Love from which those words arise. And the only way Love will give rise to words, is if you have abandoned your independence and turned toward the Altar and said, “Help! What is appropriate here? What fulfills Purpose? What will uncover God more clearly right here?”
The only way any of you can be effective teachers, effective agents for change is when you realize that you … none of you have a personal capacity on your own to do good, period. That as long as you claim the right of independence from God, with the very strong belief that God has created you to be independent, you’re just going to be rearranging the world. And you are going to further and extenuate the ignorance that you’re already all suffering from.
To be an effective teacher is to not attempt to be a teacher at all, but to be a humble servant; from the ego’s standpoint a humiliated servant. Humility is a state in which there is no tension. Humility is a state in which the capacity to be forceful doesn’t exist. Humility is where willfulness has been laid aside for willingness–willingness to say, “Thy Will be done.” Why? Not so that you can be controlled, but so that in the absence of your trying to be controlling, the divine way things work can register with you, and you can be in harmony with it, and thus be a presence who is constantly glorifying God by not glorifying anything else. In the absence of the attempt to glorify anything else, God is the only thing that can show up.
[gestures] Microphone …
When we first started talking about the body, it’s talking about the beautiful temple, and then you talked about reinforcing the armament with steel, and it’s… is that the same activity, pretty much? I mean whether we’re making it a beautiful temple or whether we’re reinforcing it with steel, it’s the same activity.
As long as it’s being done with your back to the Altar, it can’t be anything else.
Exactly. So it’s just sort of giving us different options of the way that we turn our back to the Altar.
And in all cases, it will be a form of defense.
And if you get more holy and more spiritual so that you are creating a beautiful temple, it’s because you have found others to join with in the belief that such activity will protect you against something. It will protect you against violence. It will protect you against your ego. By thinking loving thoughts and expressing loving thoughts, it will protect you against the baser motives that are natural to human beings. And it might even cause…
(I’m sorry. This is me, Paul.)
… an evolutionary shift where mankind will start to move in a new direction, physically, of course, as part of the physical universe, as part of actual physical evolution. You see?
This is still occurring in the realm of ignorance. It’s still occurring without having even thought of, or brought up, the idea that there is a relationship between you and God, and there is a connection for you to be experiencing. And that when you turn around toward God and open up to that experience, that that’s going to bring you back into your Right Mind, where evolutionary jumps are nonsense, and where behaving nicely doesn’t mean a heck of a lot more than behaving badly, except that it’s a little bit more comfortable for you in your ignorance.
I will tell you something: If everyone on this planet managed to find a mutually-agreed-upon way to work together harmoniously, everyone would be very grateful. And if given the opportunity to have ten thousand years to experience it, they would find ultimately that it would be an empty experience, because the connection with the Altar would not have occurred yet, even though everyone worked together beautifully. And Awakening, the evidence of Atonement would still be awaiting everyone.
So at least tonight, everyone is a little bit clearer about what Atonement isn’t. And that’s wonderful.
Raj, something that you don’t … that has occurred to me about what you’re saying here this evening about what you did when you washed the feet of [the disciples] indicating that we must be servants to each other, that ego can’t wash the feet of another with love.
No. But it can feign love and wash the feet of others.
Yes. You are right. You are here to serve others, but you won’t be able to serve each other transformationally until you yourselves ask God how to serve each other transformationally. It’s that simple.
What I meant when I brought this up is the feeling that comes when I turn to God and we do this together. It’s the Love.
Of that expression, “I’m here to serve you.”
That is truly benign, and therefore provides the best opportunity for the one you are serving to feel non-threatened, and for his or her fear to be reduced, and for confusion to fade, and for intelligence to come to the fore, and for learning to actually occur. Yes.
So it really becomes “We,” and no longer “I”?
Absolutely … yes.
The experience of these shifts going on in me, and the balance of … I can … the miracle scaring me. It’s like right over here. I mean it’s like right at the edge of it. It’s like if I was any more miracle going on, it would frighten me. And yet I can … you know. And I got it. I read in the book. And you say it. And we share our experiences. I mean that’s a lot … the feelings that come with this Love that comes through us. Like Wow! It catches your attention. Almost frightens you. I mean we’re all like right there on the edge of all we can stand. Shifting as fast as we can right now.
Indeed … indeed.
Judging everything less.
More and more looks at the Altar. It’s working.
It takes trust. We can’t do any of this without trust.
And trust comes from leaning into the miracle, and letting it transform you, and convey your safety, so that you relax a little bit more. There’s a little less fear. And you can let in.
I have been privileged to be experiencing this of late.
And it’s just totally amazing!
Just don’t be too amazed. That’s a wonderful block to more. Amazed, to stand in amazement is to say, in so many words, “This is unbelievable.” And that’s a nice way to keep the unbelievable that’s beyond what you’ve experienced from being let in and being believable.
That brings up a good point, because it’s the next level of recognition of all these definitions or these habits of describing things.
I mean that’s a very, very good point. [laughs] Unbelievable. That declares it exactly what it is, which is not something I want to entertain.
Right. Yes. We will call it an evening. We actually got through a whole section.
Healing as Release from Fear
And release from fear occurs as you turn away from that which is fearsome and engages your ego responses, and turning toward the Altar, so that you might reconnect with the Father’s Love that’s at the center of the Altar being all there is of You. And by turning toward It, you provide yourself with the opportunity of remembering your Self. And in remembering your Self and embracing It, you become the Presence that transforms, and you come back into your right Mind. Maybe only little by little … but the only reason it’s little by little, is because more will scare you shitless! [chuckles]
I love you all.
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