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Don’t think for a minute that it’s always your family, or your friends, or your acquaintances, who are the ones who stubbornly resist accepting the Truth, who stubbornly hold on to their already established concepts, and who fight for their right to be ill, or fight for their right to be distressed. I say this because it’s very easy as you learn more, as light bulbs go on and you see things in a new way and you begin to behave in a new way and your experience improves, it’s very easy for you to want your family and your friends to have this experience as well.
And so when you see them distressed and you know they don’t need to be, or you see them ill and you know they don’t need to be, you want to do something about it and you share with them what you’ve learned. And maybe they laugh at you or maybe they pooh-pooh it, but one way or another they don’t accept it and their life doesn’t change. Correction doesn’t occur. And you say, “Their unwillingness to listen is forcing me to have to watch them suffer, and that causes me great heartache. That causes me anguish.” And really, at the bottom line, what your ego is doing there is saying to you, “They are showing you that Truth is powerless. They are showing you that you are powerless.” In other words, they are showing you that you must just suffer watching them suffer, deteriorate and die.
And this causes the warrior-in-you to get up on its haunches and take hold of them by the shoulders and shake some sense into their head, as though you could. And at the bottom line, all the warrior is trying to do is to make them change so that you will be relieved of having to watch them take a path that constitutes suffering and deterioration and death. You act boldly to relieve yourself, to make them stop making you hurt. You say, “Boy, if that isn’t stubborn will, I don’t know what it is. They are so g—d—- stubborn, it pisses me off. It makes me so angry to see how headstrong they are. And it really pisses me off that I can see the answer and I can share it with them, and they refuse to accept it. They insist upon the path they’re on. They are determined to continue forward, even though they want to fill my ears with the distress of it all that they’re experiencing.”
Now here’s where the practicality of it all comes in. Here’s where the black and whiteness of it comes in. Each of you is just as stubborn as they are, except that you are more comfortable with your determined path than you are with theirs.
We’ve been slowly moving through the Course. And ultimately you will find that there were umpteen times over the past two and half years in which you could have gotten it, because the best is not saved for last. The best has been conveyed on every page every time we’ve met. So what’s the value of this realization? The value of it is, the value of it lies in the realization that no one—not your friends, not your parents, not your children, not your acquaintances—no one, not even you, will see the Truth until each one gives permission. That means that you personally have no power to force anyone to accept their good. But you do hold the key to your Awakening because you are the one who can give yourself permission to let God in. No one else can give that permission for you.
And here’s the interesting thing. When you do that—when you say, “Father, Thy Will not mine be done. I’m willing to abandon the exercise of my will and the authority that I think it ought to have. I’m willing to abandon that. Maybe not 100% of the time, maybe not even totally at this moment, but I am willing to soften my authoritative stance enough to hear Your Voice, enough to let myself feel the Fullness of Being that it’s my Birthright to be experiencing because You are my Source and You are withholding nothing of What You Are from me,”—and when you do that, I mean when you really do it, you will feel yourself infilled. And as I’ve said before, the infilling of it, the Experience of Love that you feel yourself embraced by and consumed with will give you new eyes with which to see your parents, your family, your friends, your acquaintances, that doesn’t originate with their behavior or their beliefs, but originates with a clarity you find yourself imbued with because you have given up your stubbornness, at least for that moment. And then you will be inspired to say or do or act in a certain way with your friends or family or acquaintances. But it won’t give you power to change them against their will.
The Fullness of the Gift you share with them by speaking from the infilling, may just plant seeds which they will wait to water and harvest. But you will know that you have been with them from a Place of Wholeness—one in which your Purpose has been fulfilled, or is being fulfilled. And whether the quote “response” from others that you’re sharing this with is immediate or not, will make no statement to you about your effectiveness.
It’s so easy to think that learning the Truth is a means of getting power from a new level, which is exactly what the warrior-mentality would look for. That you operate in a warrior-mentality is a given, even though we haven’t talked about it up until just a month or so ago.
How many of you have seen [the movie] War of the Worlds? And of those who have seen it, for how many [finger snap] did a red light go on, did a red flag [finger snap] go up, because in the opening and closing moments of the film, the big bang theory and evolution was presented? It was an incredible teaching tool, this film was, because of its dynamic, its impact, and the number of people it will reach. And they will watch it and they will say, “Yes, the aliens quote ‘had not earned the right to live on this planet,’ and thus they were destroyed by a microorganism against which they had no immunity.”
How many listened to that and no red flag went up at all? No recognition that here the warrior-mentality, the conflict-ridden context of existence was being reinforced, inviting strengthened mutual agreement about the human condition. If no flags went up, if no recognition that this was exactly the opposite of what we’ve been talking about occurred, you watched it in the warrior-mentality that you accept and employ. Yes, you employ it.
If whatever you accept, you employ in coping with your world—if red flags didn’t go up, if an alert did not occur, even the most minor recognition that, “Wow, this is exactly the opposite of what Raj has been talking about,” you demonstrated your stubborn willingness to not embrace the Truth that we’ve been talking about. And you demonstrated your stubbornness—which means your practice of inertia—your practice of being slow to lean out of the rut to your lack of enthusiasm for seeing differently. That’s stubborn will.
You say, “God, I was just watching a movie. And you’re telling me I was in there being willful? Don’t be ridiculous!” But wait a minute. You don’t just exist in the context of a movie, or the context of a single event in your week or your day. You exist in the context of the frame of mind you are employing. You live in the context of the way in which you are using your mind.
Now last week we ended up by my inviting you to ask for correction. In other words, don’t just move along in your stupid rest. Don’t just move along in your ignorance, the status quo, the level of comfort you’ve reached while not yet being awake. If you’re not experiencing the Divinity of Existence, if anything you see is not registering with you as awesome, then you are stubbornly insisting on not seeing that. You are still stubbornly insisting upon your staying right in your orphan-hood—your wanting to be able to authorize, instead of God.
And so, yes, by not seeing more than what was being presented, you were being willful. You were continuing the willful act of saying, “But, Father, I’d rather see it myself. I’d rather see it my way.” And that’s the habit we’re breaking. That’s the habit I’m encouraging you to break. So let’s be alert. And let’s not just accept the status quo. And let’s take a moment every now and then, or even more frequently, to say, “Father, what’s the more of what’s going on here than what I’m seeing? What’s the more that You’re Being than what I’m seeing? I’m willing to abandon my definition to have the rare experience of seeing it and experiencing it the way You’re Being It.”
Each of you is coping with being an orphan in very definite well-established ways, just as your friends and family and acquaintances are dealing with and coping with their lives in very specific ways. And you are not a whole lot more amenable to changing your ways than they are.
Now that can be taken as a criticism, and you all can feel really bad about it if you want. But that’s part of the warrior-game, too. And you know what? I’m not going to try to stop you. Feel bad if you want.
When there’s no payoff for feeling bad, when everyone around you doesn’t jump up and try to argue you out of it, what happens? There’s no payoff. But more than that, what happens is that you experience suddenly being alone—lonely—which is a direct experience, an unclouded experience of the isolation you claimed for yourself when you said, “Father, I’d rather do it my way. Father, I would rather provide the definition of this, that, and the other thing.” That was a step into isolation.
So, I’m not going to tell you not to feel bad. I will say to you that what I’ve shared shouldn’t make you feel bad, because it’s very practical information which, because it is so clearly put, you, through the use of intelligence, can choose to either continue employing or stop employing. And your choice will clearly be yours to you, so that when you really become tired of discomfort, you will know that the decision was yours, and therefore the power is yours to abandon that path.
Of course, this brings up another point. You say to me, “Does that mean I should just let my parents die? Does that mean I should just let my children continue to kill themselves with drugs? Does this mean I should let people who are making unwise choices do it without arguing with them?” Well, the answer is “Yes.” Why? Because you’ve got to credit them with as much intelligence as you credit yourself. What do I mean by that? I mean that you’ve got to acknowledge that they are the Christ, they are the Ultimate, using their mind poorly—but they are still doing it with purpose and resolve and commitment—three elements of Sane Being [which is being] used unwisely. And they will use those three capacities wisely only when it serves them to do it—not when it serves you for them to do it.
You know what? The minute you start treating another as though they have Fundamental Divine Capacities that they are using on purpose, and you’re not about to argue them out of the poor use of their mind that they’re putting their mind to, as I said, there won’t be the payoff for them. You will be crediting them with the fact that they are very skillfully—and I mean that truly—they are very skillfully with great adeptness, configuring and conforming their lives to be exactly the way they want it to be and exactly the way they know it is necessary for it to be for them. Therefore, they are in ultimate terms, completely safe. And when you no longer provide resistance for them to kick against, the warrior-in-them will have lost a job. And it will put them in a position of having to decide to use their God-given Capacities in a different way.
How slowly are you getting the meaning of the Course? Two and a half years could be considered slow—that is, if one is judging, which I’m not. You’re getting it as fast as you’re willing to get it. Are you doing poorly because it’s however slow it is? Only if you’re willing to get into judgment and evaluation. You’re letting in as much good as you can bear, to tell you the truth. And in that sense, you could say you’re doing very well because correction is occurring. Your lives are changing. Your perspective is changing. You are slowly abandoning the commitment to the warrior-mentality.
Now you may feel that recently I’ve become more focused or more pushy. No, I’m not trying to hurry you up. But you know what? You’re able to hear better. And so you’re hearing what I’m saying louder. Because you are hearing better, your movement of Awakening, if I may put it that way, is becoming more pronounced. Your movement of Awakening is becoming more pronounced—what I’m saying isn’t. You’re going to be able to go back to the tapes of the first meetings we had in the study group and find that I’ve said some radical new thing you just heard way back then but it didn’t register with you because you weren’t listening as well.
So, before you use your mind poorly by engaging in judgment about your family, your friends, and your acquaintances, and their stubbornness, before you engage in the judgment that will actually cause you to become ill if you become too intense about it, just dare to look at it (the situation) realistically enough to say, “Wow! They’re just like me. I’m just like them.” And then get down to the business of going within and asking for correction for yourself. And practice connecting with the Father. Practice leaning into the Holy Spirit—leaning into It so that It might support you, infill you with clarity. Because until that happens, you won’t have anything to give away that you’ll want to keep.
“Oh yes, but you talked about being able to be an agent for change and that made me feel so good. I was so happy to hear that I could actually be a true and valuable agent for change.” Well, that was nothing but the warrior-in-you feigning a willingness to not be a warrior. And it really meant to be a warrior in a new and more delicate way—not quite as direct, not quite as forceful—but just as effective because it would be coming from the right place. You see?
Being an agent for change is what you are when you have said, “Not my will, Father, but Thine be done.” And then you have been undefended enough for Truth to penetrate your awareness from the Place of Excellence in you—the Holy Spirit, the Communicator of God’s Will to you. That is the only path you should be determined to walk. And when you walk that path and you become a Presence, totally involuntarily changes begin to occur around you. People will begin to report back to you that your mere Presence changed their lives in one way or another.
And all you will be able to do is stand with them in awe. “That’s wonderful. Thank you for telling me. I rejoice with you.” That’s a far cry from, “I told ya so. Yep. You brought the problem to me and I set ya straight and aren’t ya grateful? I’m so glad I could be of help.” You see the difference?
Let’s go into the book.
If God knows His Children as wholly sinless, it is blasphemous to perceive them as guilty.
Well, if you’re perceiving them as guilty, it means you’ve applied a definition to them that the Father didn’t apply, right? You’ve made-up a definition and you’re giving preference to that.
If God knows His Children as wholly without pain, it is blasphemous to perceive suffering anywhere. If God knows His Children to be wholly joyous, it is blasphemous to feel depressed.
I’m just going to plant a seed here. Every one of you, if you’re experiencing depression, experiences it by design. You have decided, “What are the dynamics and what are the circumstances under which I can’t be happy?” You have … what do they call it? Oh, there are “designer drugs” they are called. And there are “designer illnesses.” There are “designer mental problems.” They’re all designed. And they’re all designed to have a particular effect—an effect that’s wanted.
“No. But I’m not choosing to be depressed. I’m not choosing to be sad.” Yes, always you are. You have determined the circumstances and the conditions which, if they occur, you can’t help from feeling depressed about.
Now, I know many of you are shaking your heads and disagreeing with me, but take a look. Does what depresses you depress your neighbor? Oh, no. Your neighbor says, “I would love to have your problem. That would be no problem for me at all.” Well, you see, that’s not that one’s “designer suffering” or “designer problem.” They didn’t design it that way. But what depresses them you would be glad to have to deal with because you would have no problem with it.
So what does this mean? In simple, practical terms, it means that every one of you make-up your problems. You design your problems. And at any given moment, when a circumstance or event occurs that would cause you to be depressed, at any given moment when that event or circumstance occurs, you could say, “Today I’m not going to be depressed by that.” And if you mean it, you would find yourself moving on through your day doing what you had planned on doing, or needed to do, unaffected by the fact that that event or circumstance happened. Now this is the Truth.
It’s interesting, you don’t hear the word “blasphemous” or “blasphemy” very much these days. What does it mean? Well, it has a couple of meanings. One of them is to behave in a disrespectful way or to have a disrespectful attitude toward God. But the more significant definition is the act of claiming the Rights of God.
Well, when you say, “I’d rather look at that rose and see it as a physical organism made up of matter, short-lived, something that will die,” wow, you’re replacing God. You see? You are taking on the rights, you are claiming the Rights of God to be the Creator of something. And your definition, you expect to be able to prove is true. That’s blasphemy. You’re taking on claiming the Rights of God. You’re trying to be equal to God.
Are you going to be punished for blasphemy? Well, no external source is going to punish you. But you’re already being punished when you’re in the frame of mind that says, “Father, I’d rather define it myself. Father, step back, please. I’m about to override What You’ve Made There by giving it a new meaning. Don’t interfere with me.” And God doesn’t interfere with you. But you pay the penalty of forgetting that you’re God’s Son, God’s Daughter, God’s Expression. And you suffer from the ignorance of Who You Are. And we’ve gone on at length about that. But that’s how blasphemy works and that’s what blasphemy is.
All of these illusions…
… meaning seeing your Brother as guilty, or in pain, or suffering.
All of these illusions, and the many other forms which blasphemy may take, are REFUSALS to accept creation as it is.
The way God Is Being It as What God Is Meaning It To Be.
If God created His Son perfect, that is how you must learn to see him to learn of his reality. And as PART of the Sonship, that is how you must see YOURSELF to learn of YOURS.
Now what that means is that as an experience, you have to be willing to move from the ideas and beliefs about yourself and everything else that you have created and are so sure of, into an area where you are willing to look at those things without the definitions—which means that you are going to be looking at something that has no apparent meaning to you, except that you know from what I’ve said that the elements of it are Divine, Eternal, Awesome, and so on. And it is as though you have to move into a realm of what seems like fantasy compared to the definiteness of the concepts you’ve been employing. And so you must be willing to look at your Brother, or the flower, or whatever it might be, with a vision that is still not substantiated to your eyes. It’s as though you must be willing to know the Truth before there is anything there to substantiate it to you.
Your brother (your family member) behaves in a way that is awful and disturbing and unintelligent. And you have physical evidence of it. You must be willing to stand in the face of that, even in the face of their unrelenting presentation of it, and be willing to withdraw from what your eyes are telling you and what they are asserting, to go within to the Altar, to go to the Source of the Experience of Truth. And so it’s as though you are abandoning tangible reality for intangible make-believe almost. And that’s the way it may seem, but by going within to the Source of the Experience of Truth, you are, for lack of better words, aligning yourself with Reality, with a capital “R”, that doesn’t seem to be visible to you at the moment. And that’s what opens the door for a miracle—a sudden shift of perception that is healing.
Do not perceive ANYTHING God did not create, or you are denying HIM.
You know what that means? As depressing as it might sound, it means that for the most part as you go through your day, you are denying Him because you are perceiving things that God did not create. And you know what? You don’t know which are the things that God did not create. Now, I do not want to be confusing here. When you go through your day, the only thing in your face is What God Has Created. But the way you’re seeing it, what you are determining those things to be, is not What God Created. And it is what you have determined everything is that stands between you and your direct experience of the Presence of God there.
Now, put negatively as I’ve just done, it could be another reason for you to feel bad. Or, it could serve to simply mean that the only thing confronting you is the Kingdom of Heaven seen through a glass darkly, and therefore, it is utterly reasonable for you to engage a level of curiosity that you’ve not brought into play before. And that doesn’t involve feeling bad at all.
But I must point out to you that most everything you’re seeing is not What God Has Made, so that you have a reason to bring greater curiosity into play. If you don’t know that there is more to see, you won’t be curious. And if I don’t tell you that the majority of what you see, not just a little bit, but the majority of what you see is not What God Created, you won’t know how much Good you have in store for you that’s right in front of you—which can increase your reason for engaging in curiosity even more.
Some people don’t hear good news when it’s provided in a pleasant way. And so it is sometimes helpful to say, “Here’s the good news. Most of what you’re seeing isn’t What God Is Being. Most of what you’re seeing is an illusion. Most of what you’re seeing is and constitutes an inadequate experience of Being. But it’s just an inadequate perception of something full of Ultimate (capital ‘M’) Meaning—Awesome Divinity. I don’t want you to be comfortable in your ignorance, even if you’re not feeling distressed in it, because it’s not your Birthright to be experiencing such finite limitation.”
Do not perceive ANYTHING God did not create, or you are denying HIM. His is the ONLY Fatherhood, and it is yours only because HE has given it to you. Your gifts to yourself are meaningless, but your gifts to YOUR creations are like His because they are given in His Name.
See, the gift that you give to your world by saying, “It’s a physical world and a material universe,” is not a gift that’s given in His Name, because He doesn’t show up anywhere in that definition. All that shows up is you. And you are an orphan. You see?
When you look at something and the Gift you give to it is an Acknowledgement, a Recognition of its Divinity, the Gift is given in God’s Name because you had to invite God in, in order to experience the Reality of the thing you’re giving the Gift of True Acknowledgement to. And that Gift of Acknowledgement, that Recognition of the Divinity of a thing and your Acknowledgement of it, is what constitutes your creation.
That is why your creations are as real as His.
Why? Again, because they are given in His Name—without excluding Him.
Yet the real Fatherhood must be acknowledged if the real Son is to be known.
It’s the only way you’re going to come back into the True Experience of Who and What You Are—by annulling the divorce with your Father.
You believe that the sick things which you have made are your real creations because you believe that the sick images you perceive ARE the Sons of God.
[small laugh] Well, that’s where blasphemy comes in, because you’re trying to be equal to God. You are engaging in acts of usurping the Rights of God and claiming them for yourself. And so the things that you have made become your offspring, your creations, the son of a god.
Only if you accept the Fatherhood of God will you have ANYTHING because His Fatherhood GAVE you everything. That is why to deny Him IS to deny yourself. Arrogance is the denial of love because love SHARES and arrogance WITHHOLDS. As long as both appear to you to be desirable, the concept of choice, which is NOT of God, will remain with you.
Remember, the god of sickness is the belief that you have a capacity to choose between gods—between God Who Is Real and the likeness of God that you have made-up.
As long as both …
… love and arrogance …
… appear to you to be desirable, the concept of choice, which is NOT of God, will remain with you. While this is not true in eternity, it IS true in time, so that, while time lasts in YOUR minds, there WILL be choices. Time ITSELF was your choice.
And I’m going to plant another little seed.
When you are not resisting God, you are inseparable with the Movement of Being—which is Eternal, a Singularity—and “time” is a meaningless word and a non-experience. When you attempt to resist the Movement by engaging in an independent movement, you create a tension—a tension (t-e-n-s-i-o-n)—and it causes the Omnipresent Conscious Experience of Being to appear to be moving away from you because you are resisting and digging in your heels. It is an illusion, but it seems quite real to the one doing it.
Has it not ever caused you to wonder why it is when you look out into space with your telescopes that it appears that no matter where you might be in the universe, it is moving away from you? That’s part of the illusion brought into play by the act of resistance which is constituted of your attempting to act independent of the Movement of Existence, the Movement of Being.
Not only that, hasn’t it ever caused you to wonder why when you look through your telescopes once you get just a fraction of the way away from your planet, you’re seeing the past? When you look at your sun, you’re seeing what happened eight minutes ago. You’re not able to see the present. It’s almost as though you are in prison. What’s Really Going On Now is absolutely unavailable to you. All you can see is what was. You have been put in a very limited experience—one of absolute isolation. That’s the way time is experienced. And time is a sensation, you might say, an illusory sensation that is brought into play when you begin to resist the Movement of Being by having a determination to act independent of the Movement.
The moment you relax that determination and yield back into what will seem like cooperation with the Movement, once you let the Movement take over, everything will snap back into focus, so to speak. Time will cease to be an experience. And the Universe will become available to you in its Totality in the Now—will be visible with telescopes. And you will not be experiencing an isolation. Nor will you be experiencing an expanding universe. So much for the big bang theory—that’s just the best explanation that can be come up with when one is attempting to be the definer of life without ever inquiring of Life Itself What It Is.
Just a little seed I planted there about why things appear to be the way they are.
If you would remember eternity, you must learn to look ONLY on the eternal. If you allow yourselves to become preoccupied with the temporal, you ARE living in time.
Well, the only things that are temporal are the definitions you made-up. And if you’ve been making something up, you’re standing in resistance to and at odds with the Movement of Being Itself. And that’s called “time.”
As always, your choice is determined by what you value.
And right now you are valuing this apparent capacity you think you have to make-up definitions that can, by the force of your will and your determination and your skill at being coercive with your Brothers and Sisters, cause to become as Real as God’s Creations. That’s what you’re valuing at the moment.
And you don’t say, “I value this.” You say, “I’m stuck in this.” But you won’t abandon the definition you’re applying to the word “this.” You’re not willing to abandon the act of independent authorization that causes you to seem to be stuck in the human condition—when all there is to the human condition is the Kingdom of Heaven seen through a glass darkly, seen through the lens of your definitions.
Time and eternity cannot both be real because they contradict each other.
Remember, “time” is a sensation you have that colors your experience of Eternity and causes it to seem to be moving away from you and keeps you from seeing it all in the Now—causing it, the majority of it, to appear to be the past.
Time and eternity cannot both be real because they contradict each other. If you will accept only what is timeless as real, you will begin to understand eternity, and make it yours.
The only thing that is Timeless is Everything when you’re not applying a little bit of torque to your perception of it all and having an independent slant on it. And the only way to get back to the Timeless is to stop applying that little bit of torque, which is brought into play by an unwise use of will.
How do you abandon an unwise use of will? By being willing to yield to the Way Everything Works—the capital “W” Way—by yielding to and wanting to experience Truth, What God Is Being, right where you have overlaid the Kingdom of Heaven with your definition. So, stop being so sure of yourself and start being curious to see beyond what you think everything is. And let that become your practice. And let it become your practice more and more consistently through your day.
“I wonder What That Really Is? I wonder What That Really Is?” Like a child in the car. “What’s that? What’s that? What’s that?”—until it drives you crazy. “It’s a cow.” “What’s a cow?” You see? “I wonder what the more is that is there.” Become curious. Become innocently curious and ask your Father, “What’s the More Of You that’s here than what I’m seeing?”
And just as with children, your curiosity may come too fast and furious, and the answers you’re getting aren’t as complete as you want them, and you become impatient. Well, just calm down and just continue to ask. The persistence of asking, you might say, sets up a new field of energy. Please do not take me literally here. It sets up a mental context of receptivity that draws, like desire does, something toward you. And so, as you go through your day, whether you’re getting vividly enlightening answers or not, continue to ask because it sets the tone of receptivity. Stop settling for the status quo.
I look forward to being with you next week.
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