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There is no one who does not feel that he is imprisoned in some way. If this is the result of his own free will he must regard his will as not free, or the circular reasoning in this position would be quite apparent. Free will must lead to freedom. Judgment always imprisons because it separates segments of reality by the unstable scales of desire. Wishes are not facts. To wish is to imply that willing is not sufficient. Yet no one in his right mind believes that what is wished is as real as what is willed. Instead of “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven” say, “Will ye first the Kingdom of Heaven,” and you have said, “I know what I am and I accept my own inheritance.”1
A strong series of statements. To see the Truth of them, each one of you must dare to be honest with yourselves, else you will be inclined to say, “Oh, I don’t feel imprisoned.”
The limits you are all experiencing are the result of free will being expressed; the free will to give your own definitions to everything without getting their Meaning from That Which Created them in the first place in order for you to have something to make up a definition about.
You know what you’re doing when you turn within and you say, “I’m willing. I’m willing to consider the possibility that the way I’m seeing everything is flawed. That what I think things are may not be what they are.” And you ask to have an experience of the Real Meaning of each thing that goes beyond your current experience of it, what you’re doing is you’re saying: “Father, I want Your Vision. I want the Will that You are expressing right where this thing is to be established in me as my conscious experience and override and eliminate my current definitions, my current perceptions.” And at the bottom line what you’re saying is: “Father, I’m asking for the Will You are expressing to render null and void and nonexistent any personal will I thought I had.”
Now the only problem is that you associate your existence and your identity with your will. And so if you ask for your will to be replaced by the Father’s Will, you think that you are asking for your very identity to be obliterated. And you must understand that that is not true. That is not what the result of your request will be. The result of your request will be that you will no longer experience being imprisoned because you will have abandoned, you will have let your personal private sense of will be deleted, if you will, from your experience and that is the very thing which has caused you to experience limitations or imprisonment.
As long as you are exercising willfulness by determining what a thing is to be in your own mind, you are depriving yourself of being inseparable from, at one with, the Movement of capital “B” Being, which is the Father Willing, Creating anew, Being All That Is new.
You will not be swallowed up in anything. Rather you will find yourself, as it were, standing where the fountain pours forth into expression and you will experience yourself Be-ing the Place where it pours forth through, which is what the Father experiences.
“Thy Will be done,” is a request for you to no longer be subject to distorted perceptions of Reality or the Movement of Creation Itself. And so, ultimately, it doesn’t constitute a loss of identity at all. It constitutes a coming back into what your true Real Identity is.
Instead of “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven,” say, “Will ye first the Kingdom of Heaven.” And who are you saying it to? Yourself? No. What that means is you’re returning authority to the only place where Authorship is. You’re saying: “Father, I’m abandoning my so-called position of authority and all of my attempts to create the meaning of everything. And I yield to what you will. Will Ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and I’ll stop willing the world and universe, the distorted perception of the Kingdom of Heaven.” And when you say that, you have said, in effect: “Now I know what I am. I am all You are Be-ing right here where I am, Father. And I’ve returned the Authority to You, so that I might let this mask of personhood that I’ve been creating and maintaining slip from me so that I might see You right here where I am. And in returning Authorship to the only Authorship, the only Author there is, I realize that I am putting myself in a position of accepting my inheritance.”
You see, you exist only for the purpose of standing in receipt of your inheritance. You don’t have a private personal purpose of creating an inheritance for your offspring, or for creating your own good or your own wealth. Your function is to forever stand in receipt of your inheritance which comes from the Father. And when you accept that inheritance, when you stand in receipt because you’ve abandoned any sense of personal private authorship of your own, it isn’t that you still stand separate in receipt of All That Is. What happens is there is a shift of conscious experience in which you find yourself at one with, and inseparable from, the emergence of All That Is. And your inheritance isn’t something you stand in receipt of. It is what constitutes You in Your Totality. It is an experience, a new experience, of Identity far superior than the identity you thought you created for yourself by being an independent author willing things to be what you said they were, rather than what God was Being. This is very important.
There is no one who does not feel that he is imprisoned in some way. That’s nothing to feel bad about. It simply means there’s a whole lot you don’t know yet. It means there’s a whole lot available to you. And so rather than making you feel bad, it should inspire you to be inquisitive, but to be inquisitive of God.
Before we go on to the next section, I will ask if there is anyone who has a question.
If I remember correctly, Raj, this is the first time we’ve come up against the word “wish.” And so could you give us the difference between “wishing” and “willing”? “Willing” seems like a passive thing, and “wishing” is a more active thing, is that more active thing of the mind?
“Wishing” is to want to have something you don’t have. “Wishing” is brought into play for the purpose of having things be different than they unalterably are. “Wishing” is an expression of dissatisfaction.
In your sense of separation, you wish for everything to not be what God is being it as (and I’m aware that’s not good English) because you want the right to define it yourself. And then you bring willfulness into play. You bring will into play to force yourself to believe the definition and to get everyone else to believe the definition with you, so the group consensus confirms it and seems to make it more real.
When it says, “to wish is to imply that willing is not sufficient,” does not mean the same thing as to wish is to imply that will is not sufficient. To wish is to imply that willingness to yield to the Authorship of God is not sufficient. I wish it to be more or different, and I will for it to be different.
So whenever we’re not surrendering to the Will of God, we are wishing.
You sure are. You sure are. And you’re also wishing for the hit of the experience of authority which isn’t available to you on your own.
So, most people when they talking about manifesting, the ability to be able to manifest, they’re talking about having their wishes fulfilled.
That is true. And then they use their spiritual or metaphysical thought processes to supposedly will that thing into manifestation.
Like the power of positive thinking, that kind of thing.
Exactly. Prayer is not a wish and it’s not a will. It’s not an expression of will. Prayer is “Father, Thy Will be done, not mine.”
You cannot comprehend the Fullness of fulfillment that you will experience when you abandon this so-called authority you think you have to manifest success and let in the Fullness of what the Father is Being as You. But I ask all of you to be curious to have the experience.
Okay, let’s continue …
Creating versus the Self-Image
Every system of thought must have a starting point. It begins with either a making or a creating, a difference we have already discussed. Their resemblance lies in their power as foundations. Their difference lies in what rests upon them. Both are cornerstones for systems of belief by which one lives. It is a mistake to believe that a thought system based on lies is weak. Nothing made by a child of God is without power. It is essential to realize this, because otherwise you will be unable to escape from the prison you have made.
And as I’ve brought out before, you can’t stop being the Sons or Daughters of God, therefore you are using the Substantiality, the Divine Substantiality of What You Are to create for yourselves misperceptions. You haven’t lost your Divine status and become something different called a mortal, a human being, who has been born into a material universe for the purpose of refining your soul until you, until you get smart enough not to do it again.
You are the absolute and only Divine One that you will ever be, behaving as though you aren’t that Divine Being and believing your behavior. It’s because this is the fact that you can escape from your imprisonment. And you can escape from it as quickly as you change your mind. It’s not any more complicated than that.
You cannot resolve the authority problem by depreciating the power of your mind. To do so is to deceive yourself, and this will hurt you because you really understand the strength of the mind. You also realize that you cannot weaken it, any more than you can weaken God. The “devil” is a frightening concept because he seems to be extremely powerful and extremely active. He is perceived …
And that’s the key word: He is perceived.
He is perceived as a force in combat with God, battling Him for possession of His creations. The devil deceives by lies, and builds kingdoms in which everything is in direct opposition to God. Yet he attracts men rather than repels them, and they are willing to “sell” him their souls in return for gifts of no real worth. This makes absolutely no sense.
Now I want to point out that this devil that of course is out there, it’s something separate from you, different from you, but it’s out to get you, is simply a projection of what all of you are already engaged in. You are the devil, if you will. You are the Christ behaving as though you’re not the Christ and believing your behavior. And everything you are engaged in is in opposition to Reality because you’re enjoying the hit of defining everything yourself. So that’s all there is to the devil. It isn’t a powerful force. It’s just a misuse of your mind.
It seems to entice you and it seems to cause you to be willing to abandon God, abandon your Soul, abandon your Self, in favor of the concept of yourself that you’ve created and the imagined satisfaction of developing this self’s authority through willfulness to the point where it has power of its own. And yet this is all just an unrealistic imagining in your mind.
We have discussed the fall or separation before, but its meaning must be clearly understood. The separation is a system of thought real enough in time, though not in eternity.
Let me interrupt you. The separation is a system of thought. That’s all. It’s a system of thought. It’s a way of thinking about things. It’s not an event. It’s not even a result. The separation occurred and now you’re separate from God. Hopefully with some sort of gold tether but separate from God. No! All there is to the separation is the way of thinking that you have adopted in order to perceive things the way you want to perceive them.
All beliefs are real to the believer. The fruit of only one tree was “forbidden” in the symbolic garden. But God could not have forbidden it, or it could not have been eaten. If God knows His children, and I assure you that He does, would He have put them in a position where their own destruction was possible? The “forbidden tree” was named the “tree of knowledge.” Yet God created knowledge and gave it freely to His creations. The symbolism here has been given many interpretations, but you may be sure that any interpretation that sees either God or His creations as capable of destroying Their Own purpose is in error.
That is very clear. Continue …
Eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge is a symbolic expression for usurping the ability for self-creating.
Okay. Eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge is a symbolic expression for usurping the ability for self-creating, meaning that you have attempted to take on the capacity to be self-creative yourself. You’ve stolen authorship from God in effect.
This is the only sense in which God and His creations are not co-creators. The belief that they are is implicit in the “self-concept,” or the tendency of the self to make an image of itself. Images are perceived, not known.
They are masks. They are costumes that characterize you. You go to a fair and there are artists there who will draw caricatures of you that capture the essence, but not the fullness, and usually bring a little bit of humor in, which means that it makes a little bit of fun of the flaws in you. Images are perceived, not known.
Knowledge cannot deceive, but perception can. You can perceive yourself as self-creating, but you cannot do more than believe it. You cannot make it true. And, as I said before, when you finally perceive correctly you can only be glad that you cannot. Until then, however, the belief that you can is the foundation stone in your thought system, and all your defenses are used to attack ideas that might bring it to light. You still believe …
Let’s stop right there. And all your defenses are used to attack ideas that might bring it to light. Again the reason is because your sense of identity is derived from the imagined authority that you have brought into play so that you might succeed at replacing God by actually defining something and the definition becoming the new capital “M” Meaning of it. The defense comes up because you do not want to lose this cherished sense of identity, this caricature of identity.
You still believe you are an image of your own making. Your mind is split with the Holy Spirit on this point…
I’m going to interrupt, and when you continue I’d like you to go back to the beginning of that sentence. Your mind is split with the Holy Spirit on this point. Remember that I said the Holy Spirit is your Divinity held in trust while you dally with the ego. This is another way, that is another way of saying your mind is split with the Holy Spirit.
Your mind is split with the Holy Spirit on this point, and there is no resolution while you believe the one thing that is literally inconceivable. That is why you cannot create and are filled with fear about what you make.
Understand that when something is conceived, it is Created. When something is imagined, all you have is a belief as a result. You have what you made-up. What is conceived becomes Created. Creation is God conceiving infinitely according to His Nature and Being. And what God conceives and is experienced as Creation varies not one iota from the Nature and Character of God.
Your Function is to be the conscious experience of the conceiving which becomes Creation. The authority you are all trying so hard to have independently is an Authority that waits for you to join with It letting It be the Totality of You so that you find yourself standing always at the threshold between Conception and Creation, being All of Both with God, with God. And without any sense of tininess or privateness or differentness associated with it.
The mind can make the belief in separation very real and very fearful, and this belief is the “devil.” It is powerful, active, destructive and clearly in opposition to God, because it literally denies His Fatherhood.
And there we are again. When you claim an existence separate from God, you are denying His Fatherhood. You are denying your Sonship.
A Father without a Son is not a Father and a Son without a Father is not a Son. Let me put it this way: If a Son could successfully separate himself from His Father, both would cease to exist.
Look at your life and see what the devil has made. But realize that this making …
I’m going to interrupt one more time. Look at your life and see what the devil has made. “Ooo hoo, you see what the devil has made?” No. Look at your life and see what your practice of giving your own definitions to everything as being different from what God is Be-ing right there has made for you. Look what it has made-up for you. It has made-up for you a lot of curious, radically unique and distorted perceptions that constantly reinforce a sense of threat and danger and persecution and vulnerability for you. Look at what the devil has made. Look at what the thought system you have been employing has made for you. When you realize that it’s your very own thought system that has made it for you and that that’s all that there is to the devil, you’ll realize that there is no evil power out there that may be stronger than you. And you will also recognize that the solution to the problem is a simple change of mind from making things up yourself to letting God be the only One Who is making anything, actually which means that He is Creating them.
Again, waking up is transferring the mantle of authorship from your shoulders to the Real Author. And again, although that may seem to deprive you of something essential to your individuality, your sense of who you are, it will return you to Who You REALLY Are because you will be taking your place as Son and letting Father be Father. And in that joining you will lose all sense of difference from the Father and find that the Father is All there is of You. Your Identity will be infinitely enhanced and then when you look at your life or your experience, you will rejoice. You will exist in an ever-present conscious experience of Joy.
But realize that this making will surely dissolve in the light of truth, because its foundation is a lie. Your creation by God is the only foundation that cannot be shaken, because the light is in it. Your starting point is truth, and you must return to your Beginning. Much has been seen since then…
And you could say much has been made, or a lot of water has gone under the bridge with flotsam and jetsam of your imagination flowing by.
Much has been seen since then, but nothing has really happened. Your Self is still in peace, even though your mind is in conflict. You have not yet gone back far enough, and that is why you become so fearful. As you approach the Beginning, you feel the fear of the destruction of your thought system …
And your sense of your identity. Continue …
… upon you as if it were the fear of death. There is no death, but there is a belief in death.
And you must understand this so that when you are faced with this fear that arises as you get back near the Beginning, you will say, “I will proceed further anyway. Because all there is to this fear that is arising is nothing more than the death throes of what I have imagined myself to be and which I have invested emotion into.”
So don’t be surprised that it’s there, but also, don’t be deterred by it.
What does that mean, “as you approach the Beginning”?
As you retrace your steps and you get back to, closer to, the point where you made that initial step away from Home and said, “I would rather see it my way.” As you get back closer your Essential Being, your Real Self, because you are abandoning your insistence upon private personal authority, you will find fear increasing. That’s why I said, when you get near the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven, you will find that the ego will create gargoyles around it to scare you off. And the point is: Persist forward. Know that that will happen, and when it happens, disregard it.
So “Beginning” just means where you begun to have a thought different from God.
Exactly. The Beginning is where you started from on this fateful journey.
You are welcome. Yes?
In regards to what you just said, I’ve been experiencing more peace recently, except for certain events that seem to take place that bring up issues, and I’m wondering, are those events taking place because the ego’s putting up the gargoyles, as you said, or because that is what I have to experience on my journey back to the Beginning?
Each undoing of a belief has its own little gargoyles, has its own little resistances, because you’re breaking a habit. And when you break a habit, there’s a certain discomfort because you have become comfortable with your habits. The abandoning of a habit is the abandoning of a certain level of comfort which you have held onto in order to avoid being out of control.
What’s being referred to here as quote “as you approach the Beginning,” we’re not talking about the little breaking of habits that occurs along the way, but as you near the end of the undoing of old beliefs and old definitions, that point where the only thing left for you to do is to abandon control completely and forever. Okay.
Can I just review … Oh, before you move on, can I go back to the conceiving thing?
I sort of got stuck there because it seems like the paragraph didn’t fit in with the rest of it. Is God the only One Who conceives and does He conceive through us? And that is inspiration?
God is the only One Who conceives. The fact is that you’re not separate from Him for Him to conceive through.
This “us” that’s on its way home is an imaginary “us.” It’s You, the Divine One That You Are, believing that you are some sort of independent lost soul, lost from God, on a journey home. It’s the Christ believing he or she isn’t the Christ, returning to the realization that he or she is the Christ. And so this one apparently coming Home is the imaginary self. But the closer you get to Home, the less that imaginary self has value for you and the more you find yourself feeling your Divinity and your Nature as It is derived from God. And as that happens, you desire even more fully to have God reveal to you this Divine Nature of your Being. And so, as you move toward Home, and as you yield to what the Father reveals to you about You, you become more and more undefended against experiencing your Christhood.
But when you get Home, there is no experience of separation and you are not something for God to conceive through. You find yourself to be the Conscious Experience of the Movement of Conception/Creation.
Now, You Are Being That at this moment. That is What You Are at the moment, at this moment. You’re just not paying any attention to it. You have, in effect, blocked it out because you preferred to toy with the idea of being able to be a private personal creator on your own. And you can’t possibly do that unless somehow you block from yourself the fact that God is the only Author. So you must deny that in order to have a place, as insane as it is, to pretend authorship and to explore all of the interesting facets of it, and what it means for you and what it means about you and what power it gives you over things, including your brothers and sisters, and so on and so on. You see? You can’t possibly explore that in a believable way unless you deny God’s Authority and push It out of sight.
Nevertheless, You as the Presence of God are at this very moment Being the Movement of God that is Conception/Creation. And coming back into your Right Mind means becoming undefended to this Fullness of Your Being so that you are not denying it so successfully that you’re somehow unconscious of it. You see? Okay.
You must be careful when we talk about the journey Home, because it implies that there is someone making a journey Home. And quite obviously, you have to bring into play an intent to go back Home. But the only thing that can successfully have the intent to return Home is some part of the Awakened One That You Are, that could never have been gotten rid of, asserting Itself instead of the willfulness that wants to assert itself independently.
It is your Sanity registering with you in the middle of your insanity. And so it would seem that there is an insane one getting more sane. But the fact is that it is the Whole One that each of you is, coming into a fuller experience of What It Is in Its Wholeness. So it can be confusing. That’s why it’s so important not to get too focused on this one who is returning Home and the dynamics of the trip.
It’s just Be-ing Divine Movement. If we are, we are in action as Divine Movement.
Yes. Either consciously or unconsciously. And if it’s unconsciously…
Then we screw it up.
If it is unconsciously, everything is already screwed up as far as your perceptions of the Only Thing To Perceive go. And the Only Thing To Perceive, or have a perception about, is the Kingdom of Heaven—Reality.
So going back to Michael’s statement about positive thinking. What is that? Is that… could what positive…
“Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.” It’s a positive use of will, of willfulness, personal will. Yes. It doesn’t really have anything to do with yielding to the only Author there is. And that yielding to the only Author there is, is the only thing that will uncover you better and better. You see?
It’s time to abandon clear, correct thinking as the means for getting Home. And let this one clear thought be the bridge to getting Home, and that one clear thought is: Thy Will be done.
But doesn’t sometimes “Thy Will be done” come out in positive feedback to somebody or a positive … if something awful is going on and you just sort of have this … you see that there is a purpose, or there’s gotta be something and it comes out like positive thinking, or positive speaking. Oh, I’m sorry. Isn’t that a natural …
Love. When you are in touch with the Father, when you are the Expression of Love, of course the Truth that comes out of your mouth, the Love that comes out of your mouth, will always be affirmative.
That’s what I was getting at.
And that answers it.
But that’s different from putting together …
… a string of words that are positive and thinking that by rehearsing that string of words, you’re going to get better.
Because that’s phony.
Because that doesn’t let God in yet. That’s still personal private authorship of the string of words. This whole book, A Course in Miracles, is… are positive ideas. Positive meaningful ideas will always lead you in the direction of abandoning thoughts for the inspiration that God has for you. Truly meaningful words will help relieve you of the fear of abandoning control and submitting yourself to the Father’s Will. But that’s different than a practice of positive thinking. Is that clear?
Absolutely. Yes. Thank you.
Yes. Continue …
The branch that bears no fruit will be cut off and will wither away. Be glad! The light will shine from the true Foundation of life, and your own thought system will stand corrected.
There it is. The branch that bears no fruit. In other words, the thought system that doesn’t result in Creation, the thought system that makes rather than creates, will be cut off and will wither away. Be glad, rejoice! The Light will shine from the true capital “F” Foundation or the true Author of Life. And your own thought system will stand corrected. In other words, you will not disappear. You will remain with your thought system corrected so that now your thought system is derived from the influx of Truth that God is embodying at all times right where you are. So this has nothing to do with annihilation at all.
Okay, continue …
It cannot stand otherwise. You who fear salvation are choosing death. Life and death, light and darkness, knowledge and perception, are irreconcilable. To believe that they can be reconciled is to believe that God and His Son can not. Only the oneness of knowledge is free of conflict. Your kingdom is not of this world because it was given you from beyond this world.
Now just a moment: “Your Kingdom,” this is not a Kingdom that you’ve created. “Your Kingdom” is the Kingdom that it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you and always has been giving you. “Your Kingdom” is the One that is Your Inheritance. As long as you see yourself as separate from God, His Kingdom will seem to be something you stand in receipt of. But when you join with the Father, the Kingdom is experienced as Your Being.
Only in this world is the idea of an authority problem meaningful.
Only in the world that you have made and made-up.
The world is not left by death but by truth, and truth can be known by all those for whom the Kingdom was created, and for whom it waits.
And It waits for you because It Is You. It waits for you to re-embrace It. It waits for you to re-embrace your Self. And you re-embrace your Self by embracing the Father as the Father that makes You the Son or You the Offspring. And the moment you reestablish the Fatherhood of God by claiming the Daughtership or the Sonship of God, then the Father and the Son become One once again as your Conscious Experience. And that’s what this is all about.
Wow! What more can we say? Well, about 675 more pages. But that is where we will end for today, with more of the good news. I love you all.
Thank you, Raj. We love you, too.
And you know what? You’re loving me. What You Really Are, even when you’re down in the dumps, even when you’re at the bottom of the barrel, even when you’re pissed off at me, you’re loving me because you haven’t stopped being the Presence of what God is Be-ing, and what you therefore really are is still Loving me right in the midst of your, I’m going to say, virtual anger and distress. You are always all the Presence of Love.
Sometimes you wonder, “how can he listen to all of us wailing, either because of our misery or because of our upset with him?” Well, I hear it, but what I experience is the Love That You ARE. And the Love That You Are perfectly being at every moment, you could say, is the ongoing reassurance that you are providing me with that says what you’re believing isn’t harming you at all. You haven’t been able to make your imaginations real. And so I know, because of the impeccable Love that each of you cannot stop Be-ing and that is Loving me, that you are assured of abandoning the wish, the wish you have to be personal private creators that ultimately are causing your wailing.
So I just want you to know how Complete and how Ultimate You Are at the moment. And that’s why Awakening is literally a journey without distance. So don’t get fascinated with the journey of Awakening. Okay.
If we are loving you at the moment and you feel that, are we not also loving each other?
Oh yes! You are bathed in Love—unbelievably and infinitely. You get a feel when people talk about passing on and moving toward a Light that is whiter than anything they have ever experienced. The Love with which you are all loving each other is the Energy of Spirit, and it is Light. And you stand in such illumination, you wouldn’t believe it.
I’m telling you this so that when you are in your darkest moment, you might not take that darkest moment so seriously. And in not taking it quite so seriously cause yourself to be vulnerable to the Experience of Love, of the Love with which all of you are blessing each other, and the Love that I am extending to you. The dream, it just ’tain’t so. And you need to have a glimpse of just how fragile the dream is, just how fragile the suffering is, and how easily it can crack apart and disappear. I look forward to being with you next week.
T3.VI Judgement and the Authority Problem ↩
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