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Good afternoon. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the internet as well.
Again, I will be reading from the transcript in the finished form that Bill Thetford prepared it, and in the transcript this section is entitled:
The Escape from Fear1
If you cannot hear the Voice of God, it is because you do not choose to listen.
In other words, it’s not because you can’t hear. It’s not because it’s not possible. It’s not because it’s really difficult. It’s not because it takes some psychic talent. It’s simply because you do not choose to listen. And what that really means is that there is something else you do choose to listen to, and what you choose to listen to are your best judgments, your lousy judgments, your opinions, your ungrounded thoughts. Sometimes you think that your problems are because you’re listening to other people, but what that really means is that you’re having a problem because you are listening to your best definition about other people. And when their behavior doesn’t coincide with your definition of them, you feel distressed.
The fact that you DO listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior. Your attitudes are obviously conflicted, your feelings have a narrow range on the negative side but are never purely joyous, and your behavior is either strained or unpredictable. Yet this is what you WANT.
“Oh,” you say, “No, it’s not!”
But I’ll tell you something, and I’ve said it before: You’re always doing only what you want. If you’re doing something you don’t want to do, it’s because you’re doing something you don’t want to do and there’s a payoff for you somewhere in the end of the process.
What’s the payoff look like when you Wake up? 2
Whoops! We’re going to save the questions until the end.
The payoff for doing something you don’t want to do is often the guilt trip you’re able to lay on someone else and say, “See what a mess you made out of my life? Now you’re going to pay for it.” So even when you’re doing something you don’t want to do, you’re doing it because, for one reason or another, you do want to do it. And you’re just not being honest with yourselves.
Does that make you a fool? It may be a foolish thing to do, but fools do things that they don’t intend to do. And when you choose to do something you don’t want to do because there’s a payoff, it’s very calculated. It’s very conscious. It is with definite intent, and so, no, you are not a fool. You are being intelligently, and consciously, unintelligent. That’s what it amounts to. But you’re no fool.
This is what you are fighting to keep and what you are vigilant to save. Your minds are filled with schemes to save the face of your egos, and you do not seek the Face of God.
That’s not a judgment. It’s a simple observation. The whole human condition is your experience of the Kingdom of Heaven when you are choosing not to look at it with God. It’s that simple.
The glass in which the ego seeks to see its face is dark indeed. How can it maintain the trick of its existence except with mirrors?
The trick of its existence. What that means is: How on earth can that which doesn’t exist seem to present an existence and get you to believe it without trickery? How can it maintain the trick of its existence except with mirrors? Continuing …
But where YOU look to find yourself is up to you.
In other words, the power is in your hands. The power to be clear is in your mind. And if you realize that you are very consciously using your mind to deceive yourself, then it becomes obvious to you that you can consciously use your mind in a manner which promotes Divine Clarity—Your Birthright.
We have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but we have also said, and many times before, that you CAN change your mind.
Again you notice the simplicity here. You can get into whole thought systems about changing your behavior in order to facilitate changing your mind, and it can have a lot of structure to it and a lot of complications to it. But quote:
We have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but we have also said, and many times before, that you CAN change your mind. When your mood tells you that you have chosen wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then KNOW this need not be.
This need not be. This need not be. Mmm. Taint so! That’s what “Taint so!” means. This need not be.
In every case you have thought wrongly about some Soul that God created,
And I’m going to insert: That doesn’t apply just to someone else, but to yourself as well.
In every case you have thought wrongly about some Soul that God created, and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass.
In other words, a definition.
Think honestly what you have thought that God would NOT have thought, and what you have NOT thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly, and then change your minds TO THINK WITH GOD’S.
“Oh, isn’t this getting monotonous?” You might have thought when you started the Course that you were going to learn something complex, and indeed, some of you have treated it quite complexly. But at the bottom line, all it’s about is the willingness to abandon the commitment you have to the definitions and understandings that you have given to everything. And to be willing to become curious to know what those things might be beyond your definitions. What they might be in the Mind of God. What they are as God is Being it, Being them. Turning toward the Altar. Abandoning your very independent selfish stance and perception of Infinity, of All That Is, of the Kingdom of Heaven.
And so, what is it about? Is it about ideas in a book? No, it’s about your mental behavior, if I may put it that way. Change your physical behavior and it will not change your mind. But change your mind and you will have changed your mind. You see?
Change the way you use your mind, and your perception will improve coming into closer and closer alignment with what a thing is that you have been perceiving until you’re having the direct experience of what it really is and perception itself fades out of your Conscious Experience and all experience is the direct experience of the Presence of God, whether it looks like a rose, or a glass-topped table, or anything you’re seeing.
Continuing or repeating …
Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly, and then change your minds TO THINK WITH GOD’S.
This may seem hard to you, but it is much easier than trying to think AGAINST It. Your mind IS one with God’s. Denying this and thinking otherwise has held your ego together, but has literally split your mind. As a loving brother, I am deeply concerned with your mind…
Not your definitions. Not your behavior, your physical behavior. I am deeply concerned with your mind. And concerned means involved, attentive to, not worried. I’m not worried about your mind. I’m not worried about you. You are not a concern to me, but you are my brother. You are my sister. We are One. And when you’re not experiencing the Oneness consciously, Our Brotherhood and Sisterhood is not occurring in Its Fullness. And so my attention comes to where this call for correction lies, so that I might facilitate the correction, and we might experience each other uninhibitedly. So:
As a loving brother, I am deeply concerned with your mind, and urge you to follow my example as you look at yourselves and at each other, and see in both the glorious creations of a glorious Father.
When you are sad, KNOW THAT THIS NEED NOT BE.
In other words: Taint so.
Depression ALWAYS arises ultimately from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have. KNOW you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.
Here we are again talking about the behavior of your mind, the use to which you put your mind. If the Father has withheld nothing of What He Is from you and you are experiencing less than that, it is because you have decided to give preference to a different point of view, a different perception of everything, than what the Father is extending to you. Which means that you are not in a state of lack of capability, but you’re just using the capability to provide yourself with an experience that has limits to it which are not natural or normal. And therefore, in your already existing capacity to use your mind explicitly and specifically, you can make a new decision that doesn’t block the Fullness of what God Is Expressing As You and As All That Is.
So right now when you all feign powerlessness, you are doing it with all the power of God. So you know, no matter how good an act you put on, you’re never successful at being a Sad Sack. You’re just not. A good actor maybe, but never what it is you’re portraying.
You have the power to act out from the direct experience of the Divine One That You Are. And the fact is that you are using the power of the Divine One That You Are to present a picture of yourself that embodies far less than What You Divinely Are. But remember you’re doing it with the Power of the Christ That You Are, and therefore, you can change the way you are using your mind at any moment.
When you are anxious, KNOW that all anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, AND NEED NOT BE. You can be as vigilant AGAINST the ego’s dictates as FOR them.
When you feel guilty, KNOW that the ego has indeed violated the laws of God, but YOU have not. Leave the sins of the ego to me. That is what Atonement is for. But until you change your mind about those your ego has hurt, the Atonement cannot release you.
In other words, you’re released, not by the forgiveness of others, but by the change of your mind by you.
And forgiveness on your part means the withdrawal of judgment against another on your part.
As long as you feel guilty your ego is in command because only the ego CAN experience guilt.
And again to make this very clear: “As long as you feel guilty, your ego is in command” means that as long as you feel guilty, the Christ That You Are is pretending to be less than it is, consciously and on purpose, and is creating for itself an experience of dissonance that you call guilt. You see what a farce it is?
You are the Direct Expression of God. You are the Christ behaving as though you aren’t and then choosing to forget that you are so that you believe what you’re pretending. And you’re doing it with all of the Power of the Christ That You Are. Now, if that isn’t a farce, I don’t know what it is. A farce is something that’s not real. A farce is a pretension.
And you’re all engaged in pretensions with yourselves, with yourselves and with each other. And you’re all joining into the pretension and agreeing with it. And then you cry and commiserate with each other about how miserable life is. Whew!
And I hope you’re catching the vision that it’s all nonsense. It’s so nonsensical that it isn’t even something you need to be punished for. How can you be punished for doing something you can’t do, and therefore, never did? And if you can’t be punished for something you cannot do and never did, then you don’t need to be afraid of turning to the Altar and asking God for anything, because there’s no judgment that can become forthcoming from One Who is awake against something that could never be done, and therefore, never did happen. You see?
But let’s also be very practical and grounded in Reality. If in your acting as though you’re independent, as though you’re not the Christ, and if in that acting out of that delusion, you behave in an inappropriate unloving way toward your brother or sister because fear is your constant companion in this imaginary state of being, your behavior must change.
You must arrive at a point where you care enough about your brother or your sister that you stop relating to them from your fear and stop engaging in bad behavior toward them.
You can’t just say that because you tried to do something that you can’t do truly, and therefore, you never did it, and therefore, there’s no judgment that’s going to be coming to you from God, that in so many words, therefore, you cannot possibly ever have been a sinner, that therefore, you don’t need to change your behavior toward your brother or sister because none of it’s really happening anyway.
We talked last week about the necessity of arriving at a point where you’re expressing unconflicted Love, which means Love that pours forth from you, not as a calculated means of manipulating your world or getting something or saving your ass, but as a natural flow of the influx of Love that you experience coming from God because you’ve become defenseless against God and let Him in to you and you have joined and broken the isolation.
Bad behavior toward each other must stop. It must change to behavior that arises out of unconflicted Love.
Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it. KNOW it offers you nothing.
Now what does that mean? It means that when you are not seeing someone or something through the Impulse of Love received by you from the Father, whatever you are seeing is a distorted perception, a biased perception, an untrue perception of something that is divinely Real. And therefore, it becomes essential for you to realize that whatever your perception is in that unjoined state, that isolated from God state, offers you nothing. You need to know that. There simply is no value to be received from it, no matter how comfortable you’ve become with it.
It offers you nothing and when you realize that it offers you nothing, you’ll stop doing it because you never do anything that you know is useless.
When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting…
In other words, this enervating of your energy, of your Spirit.
When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and heal. Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant AGAINST the demands of the ego to disengage yourself. THIS NEED NOT BE.
Why? Why keep saying, “This need not be”? So that you might realize you have a different choice available to you—an active, different choice. That you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of the ego to disengage yourself from it doesn’t have to be. Just know that you have a different choice so that you have a new place to place your curiosity.
The habit of engaging WITH God and His creations is easily made if you actively refuse to let your minds slip away.
That you look around at everything as you go through your day without experiencing any sense of its Holiness or Divinity or Awesomeness, the fact that you go through your day and don’t see this is just a habit. It doesn’t mean it’s not there to perceive. It just means that you’ve slipped into a habit of not paying attention. And this need not be.
The habit of engaging WITH God and His creations …
Instead of separate from God and His Creations.
… is easily made if you actively refuse to let your minds slip away.
I’m adding this: If you actively refuse to go unconscious. “Oh, go unconscious. Oh, I’m just not seein’ anything today. Just looks regular to me. Same old, same old. What can I do? It is what it is.” No, it’s not what it is! It is what you’re not bothering to pay attention to, as well as what you’re paying attention to. And the difference lies in how conscious and attentive you’re willing to be. And in this case, when I use the word “willing” to be, I mean it not so much in a sense of acquiescence, but in the sense of conscious decision—a willingness to be conscious more fully.
The habit of engaging WITH God and His creations is easily made if you actively refuse to let your minds slip away. The problem is NOT one of concentration; it is the belief that no-one, including yourself, is WORTH consistent effort.
Well, now, here we’re talking about the use you put your mind to consciously. If you really felt that the person sitting across from you, or that the tree that you’re seeing out there, were the Presence of the Christ and the Direct Expression of God, the Active Presence of Creation occurring in front of you, [finger snap] you would pay attention real fast. If I said to you, “I’m going to appear in the middle of this room in three seconds,” [snaps fingers] and you believed that, you would immediately become attentive with a degree of aliveness that you’ve never brought to anything before.
Bring that attention to the person who is sitting next to you, and to the roses that are in front of you. Now you’re putting your mind to a new use. Everyone, including yourself, is worth the consistent effort of wanting to be fully conscious, as though doing that would bring you Face to Face with God. Because at the bottom line that is what every moment of Conscious Experience brings to you.
This isn’t just the world. It’s the Presence of God Being All There Is. It’s Holy. It’s Divine. It is Awesome.
Side with me CONSISTENTLY against this deception…
This deception that no one, including yourself, is worth consistent effort.
… and do not permit this shabby belief to pull you back.
Or let us say, don’t let this habit of lazy mindfulness put you to sleep again.
The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the ego can BE disheartened.
And I’m going to add: And you are not your ego. You are not the definition of yourself that you have made up, and you are not the definition of a mind that an entity separate from God has.
Have you REALLY considered how many opportunities you have to gladden yourselves, and how many of them you have refused?
And the answer is: No, you have no idea. It’s so humungous that if you would look at it from the flip side of the coin, you would realize that you are faced with an infinite Gift Basket of the true experience of Reality. And you wouldn’t waste a minute feeling bad because you had been missing it. You would soak it up. You would let it in.
There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he himself can limit the expression of his power as much as he chooses.
There you go. The Son of God can limit the expression of His Power as much as He chooses.
So this puny little ego that you think that you are and that you’re so frustrated with and that you wish you could get past and you wish you could get rid of and you wish you weren’t being controlled by, is nothing more nor less than the Christ That You Are acting like an ego.
So own it. Own what you’re doing so that you don’t complain about your ego and what it did to you. “The devil made me do it!” Mmm. No, the Christ, acting like the devil, did what it wanted to do. And ultimately, what it did was nothing. But as long as it thinks it did something when it did nothing, it’s deluded.
And the only thing that will get rid of the delusion is for you to take your power back, which simply means: Own what you’re doing. Say to yourself: I am the Christ behaving as though I’m a body. I am the Fullness of God acting like I’m a mortal. I am the Movement of Love that God is Being right where I am, acting like an asshole, mistreating my brothers ad sisters.
And when you see that that’s what you’re doing, when you really see that’s what you’re doing and you own it, you will spontaneously make a decision to do something else. And I’m pointing out to you what you’re doing to speed things up so that you can use your mind more intelligently and come to the realization that you are the Christ behaving as though you’re not and believing it, and therefore, it’s time for a new belief or an abandonment of belief all together, so that you will behave in a way consistent with what You Divinely Are.
And because of your current ignorance, you cannot gather the Fullness of the Meaning of What You Divinely Are. Your next step is obvious: You’ve got to ask God for help. You’ve got to turn to God and say, “Reveal to me what You’re Being right where I am. Reveal to me what is here where I am as You see me, because my ability to see myself that way is God-derived and a God-derived Birthright and I no longer choose to ignore it.”
Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, and releasing the strength of God into everything you think and will and do.
Now why can your mind and mine unite in shining your ego away? Well, not because together we have power, but because together your commitment to isolation weakens. Simple. The moment we join, your commitment to isolation begins to dissolve. And everything that held together your private, tiny sense of yourself will begin to break down because it can’t continue in the face of joining. You see? So, your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away. And, I’m adding: thereby releasing the strength of God into everything you think and will and do.
Do not settle for anything LESS than this, and refuse to accept anything BUT this as your goal.
Well, there comes a little bit of mental self-discipline, a better use of your mind. Stay alert so you don’t zonk out again through habit.
Watch your minds carefully for ANY beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one RIGHT use of judgment.
In other words, if you pay attention to your feelings and you find yourself feeling bad, you may know that you have switched allegiance to the limited viewpoint, the ego perception. If you’re feeling depressed, if you’re feeling guilty, you may know that you’ve gone to sleep. It’s time to wake up! It’s not time to indulge sadness, guilt and fear of punishment. Don’t muck around in it. It’s a call to become alert again.
Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one RIGHT use of judgment. Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect, to hurt or to heal. The ego SHOULD be brought to your judgment and found wanting there. Without your own allegiance…
Listen to this.
Without your own allegiance, protection and love, it cannot exist.
Why? Because you made it up in the first place! It’s never been anything more than an imagination. And so, without your own allegiance, protection and love, it cannot exist.
Judge your ego truly …
And it doesn’t say, “and it must disappear.” It says:
Judge your ego truly and you MUST withdraw allegiance, protection and love from it.
It will be spontaneous.
You are mirrors of truth in which God Himself shines in perfect Light. To the ego’s dark glass you need but say, “I will not look there because I KNOW these images are not true.” Then let the Holy One shine on you in peace, knowing that this and ONLY this must be. His Mind shone on you in your creation …
God’s Mind shone on you in your creation.
… and brought YOUR mind into being.
Not as a separate thing.
His Mind still shines on you, and must shine THROUGH you.
In other words, Being your Mind.
Your ego cannot prevent HIM from shining on you, but it CAN prevent you from letting Him shine THROUGH you.
What a powerful, pivotal point you sit in. You can either block God or let God through. Hmmm. Well, or so it seems. Because you can’t block God, but you can block from your awareness the Movement of God through you that continues no matter what. You can block it from your own awareness. And in effect, you’re the only one suffering the loss.
The unfortunate thing is that your loss of feeling the Light of Love flowing through you causes you to be unable to see the Love in everyone and everything around you. And so you feel unloved and you behave accordingly. That’s a very dark mirror. It’s a very un-illumined experience.
But I want you to see that when you begin to devalue the independence, it’s not just you, your mind, your being, that will be filled with the experience of God’s Love. It will illuminate your Brothers and Sisters and the Universe, all of Creation, to you again as the Substance of Love that God Is Being in every Aspect of Creation. And so, your whole Being filling with illumination will constitute an experience of all Existence, infinitely speaking, being illumined to you as well, where’s there’s no way for you to feel alone or small. And it’s your Birthright to be experiencing this.
The first coming of Christ is just another name for the creation…
[Raj did not read the rest of the sentence: for Christ is the Son of God.]
God said, “I AM,” and there you were, and there you were, and there you were, and there you were. God embodied Himself. And everything that … every Soul, every Spirit, every Individuation of His Soul, His Spirit, The Soul and Spirit He is, embodied all that He was, and there was the Christ. Christ You, Christ You, Christ You, Christ You. That was the First Coming: the Movement of Creation in which you became.
The SECOND coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego’s rule over part of the minds of men, and the healing of the mind.
It’s you waking up. It’s every single one who’s valuing this independent existence letting go of it and re-embracing the Conscious Experience of Being the Christ—God manifest right there where each one of you is.
I was created like you in the first…
… in other words, the Movement of Creation …
… and I have called you to join with me in the second.
So you don’t need to wait for Me to come again. It’s not about Me coming again. It’s about you coming into your right Mind and becoming the fully-fledged embodiment of the Christ That You Are and never stopped Being.
If you will think over your lives you will see how carefully the preparations were made. I am in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used only for protection, cannot be wrong because it NEVER attacks. YOURS is so distorted that you believe I was mistaken in choosing you. I assure you this is a mistake of your egos. Do NOT mistake it for humility.
Your egos are trying to convince you that THEY are real and I am not because if I am real, I am no more real than YOU are.
In other words, I’m no more special than you are. You are as special as I am. You are as Real as I am.
That knowledge, and I assure you that it IS knowledge, means that Christ must come into your minds and heal them. Although I am NOT attacking your egos…
I mean, after all, why would I attack something that is pure fantasy and has no real existence?
Although I am NOT attacking your egos, I AM working with your higher mind whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind. I am your vigilance in this because you are too confused to recognize your own hope. I was NOT mistaken. Your minds WILL elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible.
You see, separate, independent, you are inherently vulnerable. It’s an illusion, but you can have no other experience. In joining, in Oneness is invincibility.
Not invincibility against anything. Not invincibility as part of some bigger, more glorified tension or conflict, but invincibility that constitutes a perfectly stable, unalterable Purity, where the only Thing occurring is the Movement of the Will of God that’s inseparable from yours and which you are experiencing as yours. That’s invincibility.
You will yet come together in my name and your sanity will be restored.
Why? Because the Christ behaving as though he isn’t and believing his behavior, is still the Christ unalterably. And that which is unalterable will prevail.
I raised the dead by KNOWING that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God created.
I raised the dead.
Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dispirited…
I mean, believe me, raising your awareness back to Its Divine Nature is far less work than raising the dead.
Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dispirited, or to stabilize the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles; YOU do. I have called, and you will answer.
And I know there are times that your egos say, “Like hell I will!” Because you see my call as a demand. You see my call as a … or your ego sees my call as an exercise of control.
But my call is a call of a friend to a friend. My call is an Experience of Love embracing the Wonderfulness of You That Is You. And I’m going to keep calling because I Love You. And because for us to be experiencing disconnection doesn’t feel good, is unnatural, and is an illusion calling for correction.
I have called, and you will answer. I KNOW that miracles are natural because they are expressions of love. My calling you is as natural as your answer, and as inevitable.
Does this sound like a Love song? Does this sound like an invitation? It emphasizes that you and I and all of the Brotherhood are to be in relationship. Not out of communication. We are to be feeling each other, present with each other. Not experiencing disconnection. This is an overture to you.
The Bible says that I said, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
“Oh, hoity-toity-toity, huh? You can’t get to the Father without coming by me.” That isn’t what it means.
Love is the only thing that is going to break through the definite wall of isolation you have built around yourselves that keeps you from experiencing What You Divinely Are and keeps you from experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven right where you’re seeing the world and universe that originated with the big bang. And someone who is awake must Love you persistently, consistently. Because it is your connection with One who is awake that will promote the more rapid breakdown of the wall of defense that you have built up around yourself.
And so none of you will get to the Conscious Experience of the Father’s Point of View without Love being extended to you. Love embracing you in spite of your rather autistic inclination to not be embraced, to wiggle out of the embrace, to not be touched, to be able to stay private.
No one can get to the Father until a certain degree of defenselessness replaces the commitment to isolation. That’s what it means.
No one will get to the Father without coming by an Awakened One who is extending Love to you so eternally, you might say, that it finally registers with you that you cannot possibly maintain independence longer than my willingness to Love you.
Do you see that? Really, it’s only on the outside chance that you might actually be able to outlast me that you could become a truly independent ego in your own right because you, separated, were able to best My Love, or best the Love of any of the Brotherhood Who Are Awake. Do you see that? The ego is suggesting to you that there is an outside chance that you can outlast My Love and thus best Me and thereby secure a real independent self-existent place in the universe that has nothing to do with God. It ’Tain’t so!
So your Guides, the Holy Spirit which is Your Divinity held in trust while you dally with the ego, Me, will outlast your resistance or the resistance of this imaginary self which you have made up in your mind and believed. So you will come back into your right Mind by Us. And this overture of Love, this invitation to join and the offer that I give and each One of your Guides gives is that We will be vigilant for you if you will be with Us so that these seemingly definite habits can give up the ghost.
Why am I talking about the overture of Love here? Because what? What the value of this book is, is to communicate to you the existence of this Relationship I’m talking with you about, not the existence of words and facts and principles. There’s no need to bicker over the words or the meanings and the different opinions everyone has about the meanings of the words because that’s not where it’s at. It’s in the uncovering of the fact that no one is going to wake up without coming by One Who Is Awake Whose Love will outlast your attempt to resist the Love and succeed.
It’s about a Relationship, an active Relationship of Love. As you go through your day, go through it being aware that I’m with you. And more than that. Be aware that I am there to converse with you, to feel with you, to be with you as a Companion consciously, with conversation in your mind, as are your Guides. You’re getting it.
Every word I share with you is Love embodied, is Me caring. You don’t even have to pay any attention to what the words mean. If I were to sit here and hum for an hour and a half, it would be done as an Expression of Love and a manifestation of communion of my being present with you, and that is what will break down the isolation. My words help to break down the trickery the ego uses to make you believe that it actually exists and that it is you. But it’s the communion that breaks the isolation.
And as you go through your week, I want you to do your best to remember that I’m there. And even if there aren’t words between us, I am with you and I am with you with such permanence that I can outlast your ego’s attempt to best Me by outlasting and passing the limits of my capacity to Love. Remember that, the feeling of what I’m saying, so that you might remember at any given moment during the coming week that that’s the way I am being with you and that I’m available to you even more fully. Let Me in. Be willing to make the smallest of cracks in the wall of your defense.
Okay now, I said last week that since there has been no opportunity for any dialogue between us for some weeks now, that we would take time today to talk about things we had discussed from the Course that maybe have been difficult to swallow or are not making sense. Whatever. And so I will open up the Gathering to questions, which I see we have an abundance of.
This is Ken.
How in God’s name did we ever manage to make up a thing such as the ego in the first place?
Really very simply all you had to do was say to a Brother: “You know, the Father says that this is a such-and-such. But come over here and look at it with me. Doesn’t it look like a horse to you?”
The other one says: “Come to think of it, yeah, it does.”
“Well, let’s call it a horse then. Forget about what the Father says. You know, I mean, obviously we have the ability to look at this and see something that the Father wasn’t seeing.”
The other one says: “Good idea. Let’s try it out.”
Now all of you have this capacity to be imaginative, but to use the imagination in order to create an alternate way of seeing Reality is not what it’s about. Once two or more are gathered together in an imagination, mutually-agreed-upon definitions were developed. It’s simple really.
And to address what you’re really wanting to know: The illusion you created isn’t really serious. It isn’t really a severe disobedience. It’s an airhead’s fantasy. It’s meaningless. Don’t make the degree of devotion you bring to your current definitions of everything, don’t let that be the measuring stick of how difficult it must be going to be to get out of this illusion.
But surely there must have been a bell ringing in our heads somewhere that must have been saying: “Don’t do this!”
Yes, it’s ringing right now.
It’s feeling uneasy.
The bell’s ringing. You feel uneasy. You feel sad. You feel grief. You feel jealousy. You feel worthless. These are the bells.
You say, “Oh! Well, they just reflect the truth of me. I am worthless.”
No! No! Hey, those are bells. They’re saying: [drawn out drowsy voice] “You’re drifting … you’re drifting into … unconsciousness.”
You see? Okay.
Should I pass the mike?
Thank you, Raj, very much.
Hands. Right there.
Is this on? I’m kind of following what he was asking. I recognize what the Course is saying and also from some past, personal experience, that the suffering we seem to experience can just instantly change into joy and become like it never really existed at all.
But recently I’m currently evidently completely enveloped in ego consciousness. And it feels like a roller coaster ride of going from being swooning in love and romantic feelings to being completely down in the toilet of feeling worthless and sort of magnifying physical complaints that may or may not be … well, they’re obviously not serious from the standpoint of Eternal Life but nevertheless we feel the pains. And so getting back to his questioning, why in the hell do we continue this?
I think everyone listening, we’re all here wanting to wake up. And you know, if we could just say, “Okay, you know, I’m ready. Let’s go for it.” You know. But it doesn’t seem like it’s that easy. I mean give us a cup of coffee, or a kick in the butt, or something. [laughing] I don’t know what it takes. But, oh boy. It is really tiring to go through this roller coaster ride. And I think we all want to be, you know, fulfilled and Love and not feel separate. Thank you.
The problem is isolation. That’s another way of saying the problem is separation. The isolation is the manifestation of a refusal to be involved, not with each other, but with God, or with the Holy Spirit, with the Altar within you. And you’re going to be miserable and be on this roller coaster as long as you are doing everything but turning within.
You must address the real problem and the real problem is not in relationships. It isn’t with anything that’s going on between you and other things out there. And nothing is going to change until you start addressing the real problem which is the disconnect from your Source. And there is a point at which the roller coaster ride will become so tiresome that you’ll say and really mean: “Father, I want another way.” And you will actually turn toward the Father and actually listen without all the while you’re listening having a vested interest in having your current perception confirmed from your limited frame of reference.
And the moment you genuinely become defenseless and let something other than your current definitions into your awareness, the moment you do that, you will find the shift occurring, the sudden shift of awareness of perception that is a miracle.
That’s the end of the answer.
Thank you. I’ll meditate more and try to reconnect. I know I’ve been just as you described.
You see, when you come to the Father because you have a problem and you want the Father to address the problem you’re experiencing, it isn’t addressing the real problem which is the disconnection from Him. The crux of it all lies in the phrase: “Thy Will be done, not mine.” It’s the shift of allegiance that is the solution to the human condition. Do you see that?
Yeah. It’s as if I’ve been wanting to use God to get what I want.
Exactly. Instead of using God to get what God wants …
… for you, which is for you to know Who You Are as Him, as All That He Is embodied. He wants that for you because that then gives you the eyes of the Father, you might say, to see All That Is as it Truly Is, including your Self.
You are welcome. You see, again, it’s all about putting your mind to a different use than the one you’ve been giving. And you might say that you can’t put your mind to a new use until a new operating system is downloaded. You want your current operating system to be fixed up. You see? It’s being willing to go into that place where the current operating system is erased—scary, scary, scary—and the new operating system can be downloaded and implemented.
Not my will, but Thine be done. All of you will keep trying what seems to be working for you now until you give up, for whatever reason, and let something new in.
And I’m inviting you to let something new in because the incoming of it is inevitable. And you don’t need to suffer every little step of the way. It’s not your Birthright. You’re worth too much to continue to behave as though you’re worthless and suffer from it. But, you are going to have to break the isolation. That’s the answer. And you will not break the isolation by getting a new relationship with somebody else, or fixing up the relationship you have, because relationships with each other aren’t where the problem lies. It’s the fact that you’re out of relationship with your Source and the Source of everyone else. And that’s why you’re having problems with each other.
Okay. Hands. Right here.
Thank you, Raj. I’m so happy to be here. From time to time I read about near-death experiences on the internet and it seems the people that go through them, for the most part, have an incredible freedom of experience …
Now I …
… of Love.
… I want to be sure that you … that the question’s related to …
Yes. It’s relating, because it’s their way of getting a taste of something greater and better and more wonderful and everything. But here we are, I guess you could say, we’re all living in a near-death experience, but not to the point of crises in …
No. You’re in a near-life experience.
A near-life. Okay.
Not quite there.
So what I’m asking is: Is there any way you can facilitate a heightened, a more heightened awareness with us?
My God! What do you think I’ve been doing?!!
No, no! No, but [laugh] I …
The most I can do is invite you be defenseless against having a greater experience, but I don’t hold the keys to the power you only have to lower your defenses.
Can’t we do this together? [audience laughter]
No, you can’t.
Okay. I mean, I’m asking …
You can’t … who do it together?
You and I. Or my Guidance and me.
Only you have your hands on the switch. Only your decisions are creating the wall of defense. I cannot reach it. I can only invite you. I can only behave with you in a way that makes you feel safe enough to risk the chance to lower your defenses. But you have to lower the defense. You have to want it more than you want the defense. I stand with you. I stand beside you. I stand within your mind. And I am present with you to encourage you, but you have to want to lower the defense and let more in.
It’s a matter of recognizing what the defenses are.
Well, what the defenses are that are standing most prominently in the way will rear their ugly head the minute you genuinely invite me in, defenselessly invite me in, the moment you’re willing to let yourself really be in the void in your mind without a backup plan, without an alternative. The moment you lay yourself on the line, so to speak. That’s when you’ll find what the defenses are that stand in the way.
What am I saying? Why am I saying this? So that you don’t go on an intellectual hunt for what the defenses are. That’ll keep you busy for another century.
Okay. You are welcome. Hands. Right here.
I kind of have the need to know, being that we talk about the ego and we’ve experienced what it’s like when we’re being the ego, all the pain and suffering, and we talk about our connection with God and that’s where our Source is. And it would help me to know what it looks like when we’re awakened. I know it’s not time or space. And to say that what would it be like to be with Awakened Beings in a typical day? I know it’s not appropriate, but can you shed some Light as far as what it’s like when we are awake?
Not as this time.
Okay. So we’re not ready yet.
I really want to …
But that’s my point … is that we’re hearing pages and pages of ego stuff, pages and pages of turning to the Altar. Can you offer a little bit … what’s it look like? What’s our … what’s the payoff? I know it’s good. I know it is, but I don’t know, maybe I’m more visual. I need to see it to keep it in my mind as when I’m not connecting. When I forget to connect, when I am working out of the mad, mutually-agreed-upon definitions. And I realized that you would say that and that’s okay because that’s something that I’ll just take with me and you and we’ll work on, or we’ll … I’ll open up to it with you. I just wonder … may … We’ll be ready. I know you’ll start talking about that …
[Apparently the microphone was turned off or the volume was turned very low; could not hear clearly.]
Yes, it is not admirable to have an image, let us say, of what everything looks like when you’re awake. The [way of the straight and narrow, ???] the place where the attention needs to be that constitutes the Gate to Awakening, if you will, is to be present with what you experience as it is.
Humanly speaking. And to be present on behalf of others relative to their needs. Because that’s where the discomfort is. That’s where you lack confidence. The experience of need is unsettling, isn’t it? Whatever the form of need that you have is unsettling.
PAUL: No. It was off. I don’t know how.
And so the call is for you to be willing to not try to escape that uneasy, unsettling experience, but to be in it out of control.
Now when you’re there, it becomes really easy to reach out to God because the place where you’re out of control is the place where you’re not exercising control. Your defenses are lower, and that’s where you can say, “Father, intellectually, and perhaps I even feel it somewhat, I know that it’s not my Birthright to be suffering and I know that I’m suffering because I’m not seeing truly here. I’m not seeing things as they are. Come in to me. Be with me. Talk to me. Uncover to me the Truth that I need to know. I know that it’s my Birthright not to be suffering. Or I know it’s my friend’s Birthright not to be suffering. What’s the answer here? What needs to be known that will demonstrate that the suffering is illegitimate, and therefore, doesn’t have a leg to stand on and that will cause it to disintegrate and fall away leaving me or my friend in the state of Perfection and Peace and Wholeness that it’s our Birthright to be experiencing?” That is where the attention needs to be.
You don’t need a vision of the future. You need to be willing to be very much in the present and very much in touch with need because need is a call for correction. Need is not something to wallow in. Need is not something to react to. Need is simply one of those signs you’re asking for. The bell that says, “Do something different.” The need is just a call for correction, so you go to the Source of correction by reaching out to God right then and there.
And if you’re not getting an answer, you may know that you’re still practicing too much defense. So you’ve got to one way or another find a way to withdraw your investment in what you want, meaning your defense, and what you want, meaning the Clarity that will heal. In the middle of your need is where your opportunity to actually shift gears exists. You gotta go there and go into the void and let the sudden shift of perception occur. Now you can hold out for some sort of image to inspire you, which I promise you will never come, and use that as a means of becoming so frustrated with going for what you want instead of what’s needed. Or you can go ahead and give your attention where I’ve told you, just now, it needs to be. And that’s where you’ll find breakthrough occurring and Movement occurring.
Because, again, the essence of all that we’re talking about lies in your arriving at that place within yourself where it’s hard to maintain the farce. And that’s what you call a problem. And where you arrive at a willingness to dare to abandon the control that keeps the farce going and actually want something that’s not already included in the definitions you’ve given to everything, and you become vulnerable enough, unprotected enough, to let the answer in. There’s just no way to get past that point of inner honesty and inner decision and the risk that you feel you’re facing when you abandon control. And then you must risk the chance. There is no way to get past that.
When you hear people say, “Oh! I just love the truth.” Well, you probably aren’t talking to someone who’s experienced much of it. When you’ve talked to someone who’s experienced much of it, that one will talk about the stress, the seeming risk, the courage it took to move across the threshold. And they will tell you that they found it to be transforming, and that the more frequently they experienced it, the more trust came into their lives. But they won’t be giddy and sweet and effusive about: “Oh! I just love the truth. Oh! Here’s something … that’s a keeper. That’s something to hold on to.”
That’s a sort of floating around on the periphery of what Truth’s about, what the Course is about, what waking up is about. So forget about what it’s going to look like and get into the meat and potatoes of it. That’s where I would have you bring your attention.
You are welcome.
And I will leave it there for today. You ask good questions. You listen well.
And aren’t you glad to know that any insistence that you have upon going for the gusto and succeeding in becoming a real independent ego will not work because it can’t outlast Me.
I love you all.
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