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Good afternoon. Don’t sigh Michael. And good afternoon to everyone who’s joining us on the internet as well, and if those of you on the internet have a question specific to something we’re discussing from the Course, feel free to post your question. Okay.
The Illusions of the Ego1
All of you have rather sloppy definitions of the ego that tend to cause it to seem as though it is something that has a life of its own. And yet last week we found that the ego is nothing more than a thought system, a system of thoughts, something made-up, an infrastructure, you might say, of ideas strung together in a way that seem to give you a code for living and a means of understanding the Kingdom of Heaven without ever having to refer to the Father in order to understand the Real Meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven. And so using this thought system, you walk around in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven calling it the world and universe which started with a big bang that is purely physical and this you call life.
Now, imagine, if you will, that sometime in the not too distant future you can go to the grocery store and you can buy packets, foil packets, little tiny foil packets of instant water. Freeze-dried water vapor, we’ll say. And all you have to do, as with any other instant product, is bring it home and no matter that the packet is very tiny, you pour it into a glass and you add water.
You’re supposed to smile. [brief scattered laughs] Does anyone get it? [a few more quick laughs]
Now, we’ll bring it into focus. There isn’t any such thing and can’t be any such thing as dry water that can be put into a packet. But you can imagine kids pretending to have little packets of dry water, just little empty packets, and they pour it in and then they add water and they’re amazed at how much you can make with just that little packet. Because their attention is on the packet and they’re ignoring the fact that they are adding real water to nothing and ending up with as much real water as they want. They are consciously ignoring the facts and sticking with their imagination that they have created dry water, dried instant water that they can make as much as they want from.
Now, the ego is like dry water. It’s a bunch of nothing. But you all talk about the ego as though it’s something. You say, “What an ego he is.” You define other people by their egohood. You say, “Boy, my ego is on the rampage today.” And at other times you acknowledge that you are an ego. And yet, the ego is nothing but a thought system, a collection of ideas. You think of the ego as being willful, and therefore having a persona that has the capacity to have an original intent and carry it out. And yet the fact is that it is nothing but a thought system, a collection of thoughts and ideas that you believe and have committed yourself to.
Now, the first step away from Home was the mad idea, you might say, “Father, I’d rather see it my way. I’d rather see All That Is according to definitions I give it.” In that act, you didn’t realize that you were also giving yourself a definition that was nothing but dry water. Nothing but nothing. You were saying, “I have a capacity to see things on my own. I have a capacity to see things the way I want to see them.” And that was the beginning of what you call the ego.
But again, the ego is nothing but a packet of nothing. And the only way it can seem to become something is if you add the Real Thing to it. And so, what is the only Real Thing you can add to an idea of an ego as a thing? It is the Christ That You Are. It is What You Really Are. And so, as I said last week, you have developed beliefs and you have made commitment to them so now you believe them. You are the Christ pretending not to be the Christ and believing your belief.
This is very important, especially as we go into this section about the illusions of the ego. Because all there is to your ego is a bunch of nothing constituted of ideas not gathered from God but from the imagination. In other words, created out of nothing, and the result of that creation is still a bunch of nothing but with a bunch of complicated definitions that seem to have substance.
And the only thing that makes the ego seem to be able to act with purpose is that your capacity to be the expression of purpose which is Real has to be added to it, and then you have to consciously choose to ignore that you’ve added something Real to it so that you can think that the nothing that you made out of nothing has become something. Just like the kids thinking that they put in a packet of nothing, added water to it, and the nothing became water. And they ignore the fact that the water that is there was Real.
Is that clear to everyone?
So, while we’re reading about the ego here, we’re not reading about you. We’re not reading about a thing. We’re not reading about anything that has a capacity to have a conscious intent. And you must remember that all there is to it is a Christ imagining that he or she has a capacity to conceive of himself or herself as something separate from what God is Being. And, then borrowing from the Truth or the Reality of Himself or Herself that which is Real and adding It to the infrastructure of nothing causing it to seem to be something capable of conscious intent, of conscious will that can act, that can make, that can wish, and thus be a life force, if you will.
So again, any ego you think you are, or any ego you think you see, is nothing but the Divine One that God has Created pretending not to be the Presence of God, believing that he or she is not the Presence of God, and then consciously rejecting his or her Source and abiding in this imagination, this system of thoughts.
Once you understand this, you will see that the ego is nothing to deal with, it doesn’t really exist, and that the solution to the problem of being an ego is to once again consciously remember your Source. Consciously remember the only Real Author there is and abandon any authority you thought you had so that you begin to realize that whatever is experienceable is Real by virtue of the Father’s Will, and what you thought it was is really non-existent.
In doing this, in remembering your Source like we read last week, you remember God is your Father which makes You His Son which makes You Real. And in your acknowledgement of What You Truly Are, in your remembering What You Truly Are, the Father and the Son become One as a Conscious Experience and you wake up.
So I hope I’ve helped to make it clear that the ego is like a packet of dry water to which you must add something Real, which is the Divine One That You Are, the Christ That You Are, and that seems to give the ego life. But the Life is drawn from what is Real about You. This is very important. Even so, the life that the ego seems to have by virtue of your having added something Real to it, exists no more than the contents of the packet of nothing that were put into the glass before you added the real water to it.
So, again, the ego is nothing more than the Divine One That You Are believing that you are not What You Are and suffering from your belief. But it still doesn’t make your existence as an ego real. Therefore, the solution lies in remembering that right now in the middle of your dream, you are a Divine One creating an illusion and believing it. And the only thing that is necessary in order to wake up is not to challenge the ego that you seem to have created, but to remember Who You Are and to throw your allegiance on that side.
Okay, let us begin.
Chapter 4 The Illusions of the Ego
The Bible says that you should go with a brother twice as far as he asks. It certainly does not suggest that you set him back on his journey. Devotion to a brother cannot set you back either. It can lead only to mutual progress. The result of genuine devotion is inspiration, a word which properly understood is the opposite of fatigue. To be fatigued is to be dis-spirited, but to be inspired is to be in the spirit. To be egocentric is to be dis-spirited, but to be Self-centered in the right sense is to be inspired or in spirit. The truly inspired are enlightened and cannot abide in darkness.
To be egocentric is to be dis-spirited. To identify with the ego is to be identified with the emptiness in the packet to which you added what was Real about you. To get a divorce from your Father by choosing to see things on your own is to put yourself in a place devoid of the Father, a place devoid of your Source, at least in your imagination, and in effect to become unplugged, and that is dis-spiriting. That causes you to lose your Spirit. To be dis-spirited is to be fatigued. You find your energy draining because you’re identifying with something non-existent in a place that’s empty of anything.
This is important. To be fatigued is to be dis-spirited. But to be inspired is to be in the Spirit. And so as long as you have your back to the Altar, you will feel weak and in a process of becoming constantly weaker. But when you turn toward the Altar to ask of the Father, “What does this mean? What does that mean? What do the petals on the rose mean? What did you intend by that petal on the rose?” then you open yourself up to be inspired, infilled. Infilled with the knowledge of what is Real rather than being, you might say, infilled with the emptiness of something that does not exist.
It says here, “The truly inspired are enlightened and cannot abide in darkness.” I think where that causes confusion for me is that at times in my life I have felt inspired, but I don’t think I’ve ever been fully awake or enlightened. 2
That is correct.
So what this is saying that I’m sure many people have felt inspired by many things, but that’s not the same kind of inspired as this is talking about.
No, that is not correct. True inspiration, the inspiration that is experienced because the penetration of Truth has occurred, that is Real. If you are calling listening to a speaker who jacks you up and who revs you up, if you call that inspiration, that is not inspiration, even though you might float out of there on a high.
Well, I find you inspiring at times. Am I … is that …
Well, you’ll also agree it’s never because I’ve jacked up your ego.
That’s true. I see the difference. Okay. I’ll pass the mike now.
You can speak from the spirit or from the ego, as you choose. If you speak from spirit you have chosen to “Be still and know that I am God.”
And I’m going to interrupt there. It might be helpful to remember that it’s God that is saying this and this would only need to be said to a Christ who has chosen to indulge in imagination and turn his back on the Father, and thus, as I said, steal authority from the Father in order to apparently engage it as an act of his own or her own.
And so the Father says, “Be still. Shut up. Silence your mind. Be still and know that I am God, not you. Be still and know that I am the Father and you are the Son because this is how you remember Who You Are which is the essential first step to coming back Home into your Right Mind. Be still and know that I am the Author. I am the Source. And when you stop trying to be an independent source of things and let yourself back into Me, you will find your Conscious Experience of Being, the Experience of Being the Source, the experience of being the threshold where Conception moves into Creation. You will find yourself having the full blown Conscious Experience of Being Me which is your Function. In other words, You and I are One, and I am that One.”
It’s important that this be understood so that you might realize that the process of awakening will constitute the complete, complete, complete relinquishment of any authority you might have on your own. And yet, that will not mean that you will cease to be conscious of yourself as the Father individualized, period.
And remember that I have said before that the Father individualized is Universal and specific simultaneously. And I will let that just set with you.
Let’s continue …
These words are inspired because they reflect knowledge. If you speak from the ego you are disclaiming knowledge instead of affirming it, and are thus dis-spiriting yourself.
That’s important. When you go through your day without ever experiencing or allowing for a conscious Idea of God, and without for a moment looking at anything that confronts you in your day without remembering that if anything is going on there at all, it must be God and therefore it must be more than what I’m experiencing at the moment and therefore I want to be curious about what it really is, you are in the act of dis-spiriting yourself. You are in the act of pushing yourself further and further into the hole, further and further into ignorance, further and further into the quote “the problem of being” unquote.
Now, am I trying to discourage you? No. I’m simply trying to show you that there’s another choice available to you that is a significantly better choice so that you might at least play with it once in a while, so that you might engage the conscious awareness once in a while, and then, hopefully, more and more frequently.
Do not embark on useless journeys, because they are indeed in vain. The ego may desire them, but spirit cannot embark on them because it is forever unwilling to depart from its Foundation.
The ego may desire them. Oh now, there it sounds like the ego has a capacity to actually desire something all by itself because it is something real. The Christ who is choosing to ignore his Christhood and thus is experiencing his Divinity in a fantastic imaginative way, and I use the word “fantastic” with a sense of fantasy, that one, and all of them are, has become hooked on the challenge of overcoming the discomfort of trying to be something he isn’t. And so that Divine One which is referred to here as the ego, that Divine One brings Its Divine Capacity to commit to something to the overcoming of the discomfort of trying to be something It isn’t by doing something with the problem it perceives rather than remembering Its Divinity and abandoning the game of imagination.
So, here’s where the carelessness in language comes into play about the ego. You, the Divine Ones that You Are, have imagined, have imagined, and I know I’m being repetitive, have imagined out of whole cloth, out of nothing, out of the ethers, if you will, something that cannot be. And this is an unnatural function to you because your Function is to be in the constant acknowledgement of the Movement of Creation that God is Being from Whom you are not separate.
So, you have imagined something out of whole cloth, out of nothing, and then you have chosen to make commitment to it. And you’ve made commitment to it with the Will of God in You, while claiming that you have no connection to God, and therefore, you have created a state of delusion. But it’s the Christ, the Holy One, doing it. And that’s what is called the ego. The ego may desire them, meaning useless journeys, but Spirit, the Divine One That You Are, cannot embark on them because It is forever unwilling to depart from Its Foundation, meaning Its Source.
The Divine One that you are, in spite of this imagination, has not stopped being the Son of God or the Daughter of God. And the fact is that you, even though you believe you have successfully created a world and universe through the use of your imagination, have not been able to create it. And waking up is the discovery that you made nothing that occurs because you come to a point where you’re willing to abandon fantasy and the apparent hit that you get from trying to overcome the uncomfortableness that’s inherent in believing something that isn’t true.
The journey to the cross should be the last “useless journey.” Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept it as your own last useless journey, you are also free to join my resurrection.
Now what do you think the journey to the cross would be? Well, the journey to the cross is the end result of your fantasy, the end result of your redefining the Kingdom of Heaven as the world and the universe and of yourself as a separate entity from God, having thereby put yourself in a position of being dis-spirited, having put yourself in a position where the nature of your existence is one of increasing exhaustion. You will ultimately come to the point where something will kill you, whether it’s someone nailing nails into your hands on a cross made out of boards, or whether it’s a disease, or whether it’s an accident.
You will inevitably come to the end result of the choice you have made to define everything by yourself and the attempt to exist in a space that is empty of anything while believing it is full. If you can accept this experience of being that you are having because you turned your back on the Altar as a last useless attempt to be on your own, you will also be free to join my resurrection.
Until you do so your life is indeed wasted. It merely re-enacts the separation, the loss of power, the futile attempts of the ego at reparation, and finally the crucifixion of the body, or death. Such repetitions are endless until they are voluntarily given up.
And this refers to lifetimes. And it even refers to what you might call lifetimes within a single lifetime, because many times a single life seems to be many in which you make the same mistake over and over and over again, because you choose over and over again to do something that doesn’t work.
Do not make the pathetic error of “clinging to the old rugged cross.” The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross.
But you don’t overcome the cross by hacking it to bits with an axe. You don’t overcome the cross by addressing the cross. You get off the cross by getting out of the illusion. You get out of the illusion by turning back … turning toward the Altar again. Turning toward God and willingly saying, “Thy Will be done. I know You are the Author. I know I don’t have any authority. And the only authority that I’ve ever thought I had has continuously brought me to the experience of crucifixion. And you know what? I’m tired of it. And I’m not going to wait until the crucifixion this time to do something about it. While things are still pretty good, even though I’m not totally happy, I am going to turn back toward the Altar. I am going to start inquiring of God. I am going to start listening without interfering with hearing to what the Father has to say to me. I am going to let His Perspective register with me. I am going to let His Authority register with me as the Conscious Experience of What Everything Means as the Father is Being It.”
The last few words you just mentioned, I would like to know if, I’m going to say, anybody here does that? Do you know how to do that?
Let me put it this way. Those who are here are leaning in that direction. The Divinity of each one of you is beginning to have enough ascendance in you to cause you in your ignorance to have a desire to have a new experience derived from the Father’s Perspective. And so there is a willingness, an intent, to let that experience in. And that is increasing. But there’s no one here doing it fully. And it doesn’t matter. The point is that the Divine One That You Are, each one of you, is, well, this is a poor choice of words, awakened in you.
Of course, the Divine One That You Are never went to sleep but the experience of the Divine One That You Are is more conscious for you now. And It is what gives you the motivation to press further toward Home. Your ego will never encourage you in that direction. And so, if you are moving in that direction, which I guarantee you that you are, it is because the Divine One That You Are has greater ascendancy in your awareness than it used to. And It is what you are aligning your present sense of yourself with. And this is providing the energy for quote “the trip Home” unquote. Does that answer your question?
Uh, no. Yes. But it doesn’t address the fact that, and I wasn’t specific about that in the first place that um … how do you do it? What I hear you saying is curiosity. You know, I can be curious and then I can trip myself over being curious and then I can trip myself over “okay so the rowboat came by, but it didn’t feel like the rowboat.” So, you know, I mean curiosity can also be difficult for me. So how do you do it?
You, well, you hit the nail on the head. Curiosity is indeed the key element. And you need to persist in staying with the curiosity with this specific proviso, that you are addressing your curiosity to God so that God can answer, so that a connection between you and the Father can be had. And then you simply abide persistently with the curiosity because you have to allow the inspiration to come. You have to let the Father in.
You are welcome. Yes.
What’s difficult to me when I read this is it’s general still, as the Course presents to me a general road map, but when you start to take it into the details, when I start to take it into the details of my life, I have big questions because I think of, “Is this place better than that place? Is this activity better than that activity? Should I be, let’s say, in the kitchen rather than in my crafts room where I really love to be, and maybe even become resentful that I can’t be where I really want to be doing what I really want to do.” So when you say willfulness, what exactly does one give up? Does he give up the talents that, let’s say, in gardening or going shopping for a family member? In other words, how does this get practically realized? That’s even a general question.
There is no activity you can be engaged in, whether it’s in the kitchen, the crafts room, the store, where you are not confronted with Creation. With the Presence of God, in other words. And so no matter what the apparent activity is, it is at that moment the available threshold for you to recognize God in what is happening, to re-experience the connection of the absolute Divinity of whatever is going on. You think you are wanting to accomplish the finishing of a meal, or the finishing of a project, or the finishing of the grocery shopping, but the real goal is the Experience of God in whatever is happening in the moment.
(PAUL: Just a moment.)
Well, I have a little other part to this.
So let’s say I embark on a new project and I join a new group of people who enjoy the same thing I enjoy. And I believe that I’m going to have some fun, or some fulfillment, or expand my talents. But I end up having a surprising experience that had nothing to do with the goal that I set out to do. I’m going to share an event that happened a few weeks ago. To my surprise when I thought I was moving in a direction of fulfillment, I found myself dealing with something completely different than I had set out to do. During the course of the event, I found someone pulling the chair out from under me, literally, and falling on my face on the floor and appearing to hear …
I beg your pardon. Your rear end is not your face.
Okay, I fell on my rear end and heard cracks and joints moving, and like, you know, suddenly realizing, “Oh, you know, I’m still experiencing myself as a body.” So here I am considering that I’m going in one direction and I’m caught short to say, “Oh well, that’s your learning!” So I’m at square one, you know, back to learning something that I didn’t think I had to learn and I really didn’t want to learn right now because I wanted to learn the other thing. So how do you explain those kind of situations?
You really already know the answer because you took the ego’s bait to engage in a social activity with a potential circle of like-minded friends out there and have the camaraderie that you’re told should be available there. And yet, that morning, your Guidance said, “Don’t go today.” And you overrode it because the infrastructure of the thought system called the ego said, “There’s a promise of something you don’t have out there. And, you know, it would be good for you not to be so private. And it would be good for you to have, you know, a little social time, friendship, while you’re also learning how to develop your skill more fully.”
And you were completely ungrounded because you abandoned the Place where the Guidance came from. And, so you might say, you made a useless journey and got to the crucifixion part of the story real quick.
I understand that part of the infrastructure of the ego is that if you don’t engage in easy-going gay repartee with your friends and neighbors, life will be empty, life will be boring. Well, look at the alternative. Peace would have been a lot better than the crucifixion you experienced. Also you have to be willing to get rid of or let go of the measuring stick that the ego uses. In other words, the so-called rules set into place by the infrastructure of all of the various ideas in the thought system that is called the ego. Maybe you are not out there in the world. And maybe you’re not out there engaging in the community. But where are you getting the measuring stick that says, “You ought to be doing that. That’s what everybody does. That’s what normal people do.”
But you know what? That isn’t what your Guidance is saying. If you will stay with your Guidance, I promise you, all of you, it will take you into new patterns of behavior, new ways of Being in the world that don’t match up with all the definitions that you have made-up in an attempt to give meaning to your life.
And you’ve got to start asking, “Do I really want to be in the world in the atmosphere and the Energy and the Nature and Character of what God is Being right here? Or do I want to continue missing what’s really going on, including the feeling of a new way of Being, by continuing to reinforce the old definitions.”
You’ve got to remember that we’re talking about change. We’re talking about correction occurring. We’re talking about having a new experience of the Kingdom of Heaven that is, at the least, a closer approximation of what the Kingdom of Heaven is than the one you’re currently employing with such great vigor and commitment.
But that means being willing to abandon the status quo, to not necessarily fit in with the mutually-agreed-upon definitions of your society, and taking your Impulse for Being from a place other than the mutually-agreed-upon definitions, meaning the Movement of God’s Will for you right here while you’re apparently quote “in the world.” You must let your actions be impulsed from a new place, not the old place which is nothing more than old habit patterns, ruts.
May I say something else, please?
Well, it also left me with the challenge that what, you know, what my talents are and what I have to give may be given up soon along with everything else. So that’s a good … a great fear that I have. If I wake up I’m going to lose what I love to do.
Whatever you’re experiencing right now is Something Real seen in a limited fashion. Unreality has never occurred! No ego has ever been brought into existence. Therefore Awakening will not cause you to lose anything, but to experience every single thing in greater fullness. Every little thing will be infinitely enhanced, together with an apparently increased capacity on the part of every one of you to embrace it all without confusion and without the confinements of time so that the real meaning of cooking, and the real meaning of a project you’re engaged in, and the real meaning of shopping, all occur simultaneously.
You are not going to lose. You’ve already lost. You’re already existing in a state of lack. The only direction there is, is up. The only direction there is, is expansion. Greater and greater inclusiveness of what is Real so that what you bring into play with the crafts you engage in, and what you bring into play with the cooking you engage in, and what one brings into play in whatever area of interest that involves creativity, et cetera, those things, the meaning of them and the embodiment of them will be increasingly enhanced to infinity.
You all must watch, like I said, for the gargoyles the ego puts up around your fulfillment, and not find ways to practice faithlessness, to employ doubt. As though the further along your path you get, the more clearly right and wrong activity will be illuminated, and therefore a greater starkness between whether you’re doing something that’s right or you’re doing something that’s wrong, something that you’ll get a gold star for divinely and something you’ll get a penalty for. Whatever it is you’re doing, don’t weigh it to see, “Am I doing the right thing or the wrong thing?” Whatever it is, take that instant, that instance and desire of God to know what the capital “M” Meaning of it is. Embrace the instant fully with the desire to move over whatever threshold of limitation is present with you so that you can see the more of God that’s in it.
Don’t take the bait, else the ego will rake you over the coals and keep you busy “being sure that you’re not doing the wrong thing,” or “making sure that you’re doing the right thing even if you don’t want to.” And let every moment be the occasion for the willingness to recognize God Being You and the events you’re in the middle of.
I know I’m hogging the mike this week, but there’s one last little thing.
That is the biggest mistake you could make. You see how quick the ego is. Where did that measuring stick come from? How much time is the right amount of time? How much is the right amount of time to take to talk with me, to be with me? “And well, yeah, I see your question might not elicit as good an answer as someone else’s question.” Tssk. Mmm. “Maybe someone else’s question would be more enlightening to everyone.” Bullshit!
This instant is the opportunity to move over a threshold, for everyone to move over a threshold of limited perception into greater understanding. Because why? Communion is occurring. Involvement is occurring. Love is happening.
Okay. Well, there’s even another little part to this thing and this is that it sent me on a completely different project of forgiving the person who pulled the chair out from under me in the first place, and even showing my face in the store where they work. So, I don’t know, it just … it just brought me up to the point where I realized, you know, how angry I was with that person and wanting to teach them, you know, better manners, I guess you could say.
Of course, you see, you’re the one who didn’t listen to Guidance. And so you’re the one who went on a useless journey. And of course, now it’s important to nail the one who nailed you to the cross. [scattered audience laughs]
Everything that happened from the point where you didn’t listen to your Guidance was nonsense and not any part of it deserves your attention, except to exonerate it all by realizing that it isn’t what the Father had in Mind. Therefore, it wasn’t what was in the Father’s Mind, and therefore, because it wasn’t in the Father’s Mind, what you experienced didn’t happen, and the belief that it did is what constitutes the “useless” part of the phrase “useless journey.”
So you must forgive it all, which means withdraw your judgments on every part of it because it didn’t happen. And because what happened didn’t arise out of the Authority of God, God did not author what you experienced. That fact is what you will come into the full experience of when you forgive the whole thing and any residual of injury [snaps fingers] will immediately vanish.
Because in spite of what your body seems to be saying, it didn’t happen if God didn’t create it. That sounds extreme. That sounds radical and it sounds unintelligent. But somewhere along the line you’re going to discover that everything that seems so real to you that you have made-up and imagined and made commitment to hasn’t happened. It literally hasn’t happened. God’s Creation, what God Is Being has not been altered in any way at any time in Eternity. And it’s that Fact, together with you remembering that You are the Son or Daughter of God, and not God, will uncover and cause to be manifest as your conscious experience of what is Real and your complete freedom from whatever manifestations you were experiencing of suffering and crucifixion.
Instantaneous healing of the most ghastly forms of human experience are possible because they are water that has been made out of a packet of nothing.
I’d just like to ask at this point, isn’t that what we would also consider free will? I mean isn’t that what free will is? You were saying that she had Guidance not to go that day, but she did, so …
So her behaviour …
… the consequences …
… her subsequent behaviour was an expression of free will.
Right. The consequences of not taking the Guidance was the act of free will, and therefore, whatever happened, happened.
Yes. When free will, when independence, is acted out, that’s the useless journey which ultimately ends up in crucifixion.
And what you were talking about before when you are, let’s say, immersed in a project, in shopping, in cooking, if you are really present and you were in the moment, isn’t that when inspiration occurs so that whatever you’re doing becomes inspired?
So you don’t have to give anything up. This …
Well, I would like to add that the Holy Spirit turned it for me when I was down on the floor with my arm over my head praying finally. And I did hear my Guide say, “Now’s a good time to practice what you heard last week in the meeting before.” So I’m saying that things were turned in that moment but only because I recognized I needed help.
Right. That was when you abandoned free will. Yes, there’s an absolute Divine Order to Being, to Life. And I’ve used the illustration of a tapestry before, where there’s a thread that runs continuously from the beginning to the end of the carpet but it only surfaces where it becomes part of the exquisiteness of the design that the carpet is there to embody and express. And so if you are listening to Guidance, if you are listening to be on the beam, to be in the flow of fulfilment, you may, during the first quarter of next year, find yourself at the store more frequently than you were the first quarter of this year. And you may find that your engagement in your crafts will be even more frequent than they were this year. And then in the second quarter the thread may not come up to be seen at all.
Engaging in the activities is not for your personal satisfaction. Engaging in the activities is to be in the flow of what God … the infinite design of God that is unfolding.
And in the process of awakening, you come to a point of being willing to appreciate which thread is up while it’s up and not fussing about the other color that isn’t showing up and being in utter harmony with the design of God. You’ve got to be willing to allow for a larger picture than your current mutually-agreed-upon definitions allow you to see. And then you will have joy. And then you will have no useless journeys. And you will have, you will provide no occasion for the Holy Spirit to turn a part of a useless journey to your advantage.
Spend less time wondering, “Am I doing the right thing or the wrong thing? Is what I’m doing willful or is it not willful?”, and be in that moment with what you are doing with the desire to see God in it and to feel the Movement of God in it so that you might be flowing perfectly with it. And when it’s time to be through, you will find yourself moved out into the next Movement of Fulfilment.
The ego is all about measuring sticks. I used the word “infrastructure” today, the mutually-agreed-upon definitions which constitute rules, rules of perception. When you find yourself consumed with various kinds of measuring sticks, realize that the call is not for continuing to measure this against that, but to turn back to that Place in you where you can feel the Movement and feel being on the beam. Because your desire is to be in harmony with God. It is not your desire to be right versus wrong. You see?
Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. This is not the Gospel …
It’s no skin off my teeth. [audience laughter] But it’s also ultimately no skin off your teeth. It’s a useless journey in which nothing is accomplished and so no matter how many times you do it, not even that is judgeable, not even that is wrong. Until then, you are completely free to crucify yourself as often as you choose.
This is not the Gospel I intended to offer you. We have another journey to undertake, and if you will read these lessons carefully they will help prepare you to undertake it.
There you go. It’s not the only journey there is. The freedom to crucify yourself, the useless journey, is not the only choice you have. And I’m not here to talk about those journeys and I’m not here to teach you anything about them. I’m not here to help you evaluate them better and learn how to engage in them better and more successfully. We have other work to do, you might say, in the Realm of the Real, instead of the realm of fantasy, in the realm of each one of you as the Christ behaving as though you are not and believing your behavior.
I’m here to talk to you and illuminate to you the Real One That You Are that is using Its Presence poorly, and choosing to ignore the fact that you’re using it poorly so that then you seem to be the victim of God knows what. Once you discover that all there is to the ego is the Christ behaving as though he or she is not the Christ and believing his or her behaviour, you will never be threatened by the ego again. And that clarity will always keep in the foreground of your awareness what the way out of your problems and illusions is. It’s a matter of being willing to re-member and re-acknowledge your Christhood, together with the ego-insulting fact that the Christ is the Expression of God deriving All That It Is from God. And therefore, the Christ is not author. The Christ is that which glorifies God by acknowledging nothing other than what God Is Being. And in glorifying God, the Christ discovers Its Utter Amazing Infinite Character and Nature and Beauty and Love because God and the Christ are One, and that One is God.
Paul wonders why again this week I’m going to say, “Wow!” He assumes that the Truth is old hat to me. Truth is always amazing. Truth is always that which arrests your attention and focuses it on the Fullness of Meaning.
Don’t worry. When you’re awake, just because Truth, just because Love, just because Harmony and Peace are as normal as apple pie doesn’t mean that they ever lose their awesomeness.
I love you all and I look forward to being with you next week.
You are welcome.
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